I write these stories so you all have the opportunity to get to know your family before you were born and to reminisce about your past. It is my hope that you learn something new, maybe laugh a little, or even shed a tear or two.
Today I began to flip through one of Grandma’s photo albums containing pictures taken in 1950 before she and Grandpa were married and continuing through their first year of marriage. It’s difficult to imagine her at a time when she was younger than any of you, particularly as I see her now at the age of eighty-seven, having trouble accepting that she is an old woman living in a nursing home. Trust me, in our minds, we are always young at heart.
They were engaged in August of 1950, about six weeks after the beginning of the Korean War. That summer, the two of them made several trips to the Jersey Shore, some with Grandma’s sister and twin brothers, and other times with friends. Just look at them. Grandma was 21 and Grandpa was 31.
Here they look so happy, yet in a short time, Grandpa would be headed to Fort Hood, Texas, where he was recalled to serve in the Army during the Korean War. I wonder if they knew then that their time together would be ending so soon.
By November, the two of them were separated by the war, but luckily, Grandpa never left the states. I found several photos taken their first winter apart, labeled “Glamor Shots for Martin.” I believe that fur coat is around somewhere. I tried it on a few years ago before Grandma moved from her house. She truly does look so glamorous!
They didn’t know when they would be married. It all depended on when Grandpa would be given a leave. In the meantime, her girlfriends, Weezie and Geri, gave her a shower in February 1951. The table decoration was labeled “A soldier and bride.”
They stopped in many states along the way, beginning first at a Civil War museum in Virginia, then on to the rolling hills of Tennessee, across the Mississippi River to West Memphis Arkansas (just like we all did back in 1995), and finally arriving in Texas where they lived for just five hellish months–according to Grandma. She really hated the Lone Star State. (As you may notice, Grandma completely ignored Delaware and Maryland.)
They had time for fun when Grandpa was not doing army work. Just look at that rather risque outfit on your grandmother. Wow!
The return trip took them through Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia, and our nation’s capital. The trip was slow, because that car they drove did not travel the same speeds we are accustomed to today, and the road system with all those multi-lane interstates did not exist at that time.
Soon they were back in Boonton–the home of Grandma’s people.