Soldier knew how to seize the moment
By Cheryl Lavin November 20, 2012 9:26AM
Updated: December 21, 2012 6:05AM
In 1956, George was in the Army and stationed on Guam. He got a letter from Joanne, one of the girls in his crowd, asking if he’d be home in time to stand up for her wedding.
He returned home a week before the wedding. Joanne asked if he was interested in joining her and her fiance Clark on a double date with her friend Carol.
After two years overseas, George was all for it. “I suggested we all go out to dinner, on me, and get acquainted. We went to a nice, fancy little restaurant. They had a large bouquet of flowers on the table and a candle inside this fishnet-covered bowl.”
There was a mixup over Carol’s order. When her steak arrived too rare, George insisted on cooking it over the candle.
“When I stuck my fork over the candle, they all wanted to crawl under the table. I figured this girl would never want to see me again.”
The next morning, when George’s mother was hanging up his suit, she found a woman’s watch in one of the pockets. Carol had broken the wristband and told him she didn’t have room for it in her evening bag.
(Editorial note: George, you naive thing! Women have been running this con since wristwatches were invented!)
“I decided to take it to a jeweler and have it fixed. I then called Joanne and suggested she and Clark go with me to return it since Carol’s parents didn’t know me from Adam.”
They went to Carol’s house. She wasn’t there, but her mother and stepfather invited them to wait.
While they were chatting, her stepfather made some racist comments. George called him on it.
“He ordered me out of the house. We left. He came out on the porch and called me anything and everything. I invited him to step off the porch, come down on the sidewalk, which was public property and repeat what he had just called me. I told him that if he did, I would beat his skinny little butt up one side of the street and down the other. He turned around and went back into the house.”
They drove around for a few minutes, trying to find Carol before she got home so they could tell her what happened. By the time they found her, she’d already been home. She got in the car, next to George.
“She said her stepfather told her to stop seeing me or move out. I asked her what she was going to do. She said, ‘I’m moving out.’ I asked her where she was going to live, and she said she’d find an apartment.”
George took Carol home. His mother said she could stay with them. She could have George’s bedroom, and he would sleep downstairs in his aunt’s funeral parlor.
George had to report to Fort Knox, Ky., in two weeks to finish out his enlistment. Before he left, he asked Carol to marry him.
“A year later we were married.”
“I asked Carol, a blind date, to marry me two weeks after I met her. We were married one year later. On Aug. 24, we celebrated our 55th anniversary. We have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandson so far. Now you have the whole story.”
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