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Remember When, November, 1965
May 16, 2016
Remember When, November, 1965
The best made plans fail.
I was totally in love with the most fabulous man, a United States Marine. He was aboard the USS Wasp, based in Boston. We called the ship the “astronaut catcher”. Gemini Series.
No way had I been looking for a life partner. I was foot-loose, fancy free and was partying with my sorors from childhood and our added friends over the years. Nothing happened in Boston that we did not know. We saw the hot stars of the day at all venues. We attended fabulous concerts at Sympathy Hall. Yes, we saw the iconic Arthur Fiedler many times.
A number of us were under legal age for most places and events. Ha! When one dresses well and enters a venue on the arm of an older gent, we were where we wanted to be.
I’ll save the story of meeting this fine Marine in church. That Sunday, I got my arm twisted my Mom’s best buddy to take this man home for a nice dinner. Mom and I had decided we were not speaking to each other, so Ruth did the talking over the pay phone booth in the church’s lobby. Then, I had to listen.
Too bad Mom had not put her words on a tape and let it loop all weekend and about every other week day. “You are Cherokee. You do not need sweets that might give you diabetes. You are only old enough to drive. Your drinking liquors will make you an alcoholic.”
My Boston Cousins and pals got to meet the Marine and accepted him. He got invitations to many of the guys’ events. The parents loved the hell out of him, too.
Before I knew it “Cupid’s arrow” hit my heart and I was in LOVE. We got engaged in October. Not wanting a lecture about my age, we did not tell a soul.
We took a month to outline our life on paper. The business me made us a five year plan for progress. Children would fit in when God sent them. Everything was noted in our note book from furniture to menus. We also had an “argument clause”. If we disagreed and did not have a meeting of the minds in five minutes, we’d go to separate rooms to consider the topic. We’d never go to sleep angry. One night we sat up until about three. We looked at each other, kissed and said good night. Whatever the argument, we never spoke of again. I have no idea what it was about.
The only other argument lasted about two minutes. His kiss ended that one. I think of the event and can laugh until I cry.
Ahhhhhhh, Marine Corps Birthday Party was being held in downtown Boston. Poor Darling was paid only $57 per month. [I brought that home each week. He knew of my responsible job.] Bless him, he’d saved to take me to the Marine Corps Ball.
Mom was a designer and my gown I’d worn once before. It was Christian Dior fabric and Mom’s talent.
I came in from work and immediately got ready to get dressed when Mom came through the door.
The lights flashed. The radio was on to WBZ, all news, all the time. The audio kept going off and coming on. I grabbed my transistor radio and heard there was a rolling power outage from upstate New York.
I grabbed all the candles and matches and turned our home into a sexy looking house of ill repute. Now the outage had hit Boston. WBZ must have been on auxiliary power because I could still him them over the transistor radio. I became concerned that my radio battery would soon die.
Mom came through the door with a bad attitude. No lights in the neighborhood. Candles lit all over the house and I’m dressed in a robe.
The famous Boston transit system was up and running.
We heard the airbrakes of a bus stop in front of our house at the stop. With all the silence, I could hear the clicks of the Marine’s shoes. I heard him come up the steps. Out of habit he rang the bell. No power, no ring.
I was in my gown to greet him. Mom was in the kitchen fixing something on our gas stove. At this point Mom was sorry she ever gave up having the Servel gas refrigerator.
All my “White House ready” dressed Marine could do was dial the contact telephone numbers for the Marine Ball. Hold steady. The hotel ballroom was awaiting power to come back on.
History tells that the Boston Marines never had a Marine Ball in 1965. The food already paid for was donated to some organization that served the needy.
After about two hours of waiting and learning the fate of the meal, my Marine departed on the MTA to return to the USS Wasp.
Early the next day he called to say he’d arrived safely and of course the ship had power.
Twenty-eight Marines were heart broken. The hotel or whoever had dumped the cake in the harbor!
Never, did I get to a Marine Corps Ball.
To all my Marines, Semper Fi and have a grand time this year.