Raymond and I went together for a year. I never gave up skating and if Raymond was not on time for a date, I headed for the skating rink. One night he called and said he had to guard some prisoners so I went skating. One of my friends came by the rink and wanted me to go dancing with her boyfriend and another soldier. She said she had seen Raymond and another guy and two girls at a certain dance hall, so I decided that if he could go out with other girls, I could go out with other guys. When we got to another dance place, there he was and I danced all around him, and he never DID see me. I don't think I ever knew what the soldier's name was that I was with and didn't care, I was so mad. The next night when Raymond came to see me, I asked him if he had worked hard the night before and he said yes. I told him he wasn't working when I had seen him the night before. He was sure surprised.
We skated and danced a lot in those days and watched the moon as we would park on top of Welcome Mountain overlooking the town. Raymond had a motorcycle and one weekend he took it home to Temple, Oklahoma, where he was raised and where his parents lived. They brought him back and he brought them to meet me. He had told them he was going to marry me. One night we went skating, and he said he had to go somewhere and he would be back later. He was gone a long time and I was getting a little mad. I thought he wasn't coming back, but he did and he told me to pull off my skates and come go with him. He had gone to buy my rings. This was 1942 and I was 19; Raymond was 23. We were married November 14, 1942. We were married in the home of the preacher of Parker Street Baptist Church. His name was Clymer Evans. His wife and my close friend, Flora Simpson and her friend, Neal Grayson, were with us. I wore a blue suit and tan accessories. We only had that night since he had to be back on the base the next morning. We couldn't find a place to stay all night and finally ended up spending the night at the Fort Richardson Hotel in Jacksboro, Texas.We rented an apartment and started our married life. This was the first time I had made a pie. I had eaten a piece of sweet potato pie at my sister, Vernelle's, and thought I would go home and make one just like it. But I didn't know you had to cook the crust before you put the meringue on it. Of course, we couldn't cut the crust because it wasn't done. I was not a good cook because I hadn't had much experience. My mother always said she knew what to expect for supper when she would come home from work because all we girls knew how to cook was red beans, mashed potatoes, and a cow pile cake. We always made a cake with a hole in the center and we could ice the cake and fill the hole with chocolate icing.
Our honeymoon didn't last long. Raymond was transferred in January, 1943, about 2 months after we married. I was crushed. Raymond was sent to Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and I moved out of our apartment back home with Mother and Daddy. Raymond found us a place in Clarksville, Tennessee, just across the river from Camp Campbell. We had a bedroom and shared the kitchen with another soldier and his wife. She was also redheaded so that arrangement didn't last long! We lived in the house about 2 miles from town with an old man and woman and their daughter-in-law. The old man used to play the fiddle at the the Grand Ole Opera. We finally found a bedroom in town and we had to eat out. I found I was pregnant then. Raymond found out he had to go on maneuvers so I had to go home. I had about three months to go before the baby came. Raymond came the day after Linda Kay was born on March 14, 1944, and he was able to stay home a week; then he had to report to Fort Knox, Kentucky. Linda Kay was a long, wrinkled, red baby and I cried when I saw her. I thought she should look like Judy, my sister's baby, who was the cutest little baby I had seen. She was five months older than Linda; however, in about a month when she filled out she was a beautiful child and is still a beautiful woman even though she is 45 years old now and has raised 5 wonderful children. We love her dearly.
When Linda was a month old Mother and I went to Kentucky to be with Raymond. Mother stayed a week then returned home. This was the first time either of us had ever been on a train, but it was not to be the last time for me.
… to be continued