Little Rudy’s–home of fine cars…NOT!

  My husband, Ed, has always loved convertibles!  One day while making one of our many trips to K-mart (Wal-mart didn’t exsist then), Ed spotted a convertible that he thought we might be able to afford, on the car lot of a place called Little Rudy’s, the home of fine cars.

Let me begin by saying, Ed and I couldn’t afford very much at that time, and that’s exactly what we got–not much!  The convertible was a 1961 shitty green Falcon, with a black rag top.  Little Rudy must’ve laughed his ass off as we drove away in that car–for the bargain price of only $300.00!  Ed and I thought we had a real gem, right up until the red oil pressure light came on!

Let the fun begin

Let the fun begin

Not to be outdone, Ed decided he’d fix  the car in his spare time.  He worked on that car out in our front yard for several weeks.  He finally got it put back together and running.  While he was doing the mechanical stuff, he also replaced the seats and carpeting–with red ones.  The seats came from an old wrecked Falcon and the carpeting came from his mama’s leftover den carpeting.  Now picture this in your mind–shitty green paint, black rag top, red seats,  and red/black mingled carpet in the floors….got the picture???  Man what a ride!

my shade tree mechanic

my shade tree mechanic

Finally the day came when we had our convertible all fixed up, and planned to drive it back to our hometown to show it off to our parents.  Our friends, Tim and Pat,  agreed to travel along with us “just in case“.We made it halfway through the trip to Ed’s parents before the engine ran hot!  So much for our cool ride!

Now, you know how it looks so cool on television to ride around in a convertible?  Trust me, it’s not that way in real life!  Your hair nearly gets blown off your head, you can’t hear a thing going down the road, and you get sunburnedAll of these things we learned on that trip.

We ended up pulling over to let the car cool off, then eventually made it the rest of the way to Ed’s parents–slowly…  That was our first and last trip.  We ended up leaving the car at Ed’s parents’ house and riding back home with Tim and Pat!  So much for showing off our convertible!

Several months later someone noticed that old car sitting under Ed’s parents carport and stopped to inquire about it.  Ed’s daddy sold it to them on the spot–and we were so grateful that he did!  Lesson learned–you get what you pay for!

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Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm  Comments (2)  

My first job as a newlywed…Babysitting!!!

A while after Ed and I were married, I decided I’d try to earn some extra income.  We were doing okay financially, but I thought it would be nice to have a little extra spending money.  Unfortunately, my choice of employment was not wise.  I decided to keep some children in our home.  Not just any children, but four brothers!  What was I thinking? SDC10489

Now to some people, babysitting in their home may not be a big deal, but let me explain my babysitting history prior to taking on this job.  I had only babysat two times in my entire life.  The first evening was for three rowdy little boys who didn’t seem to know what discipline was.  I was about 13.  The whole time I was sitting for them, they had a great time playing “let’s terrify the babysitter”.  They pulled pranks and told me all sorts of stuff…like things they were going to do to me…and some of it I believed!  Boy, was I glad to see their parents get home! untitled-1littleboy-1

I tried babysitting one more time.  I was 14 or so and it was with a little boy and a little girl.  They were sweet children and I didn’t have any discipline problems with them, until we went outside to get something  and the door closed and locked behind us–at night!  Fortunately, my house was within walking distance from theirs and we all all walked to my house.  My daddy took me back to their house in our car and I left a note on the door for their mother letting her know what had happened, and telling her that we were at my parents house.  I put the children to sleep in my bed and waited for their mom to come and get them.    I was so embarrassed to face that mother!  That was the extent of my babysitting experience! 

Needless to say, the third time babysitting was not “the charm” and things didn’t go very well.  I didn’t quite know what to do with all of those children and they were wrecking my house.  The days seemed endless.  No wonder their mother worked!  I didn’t last very long and I quit!  I decided that I didn’t want spending money that much.  No wonder I waited over six years before having our first child…s1024709

Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Our first “child”

Ed began working at one of the hospitals in the city, while I stayed home and kept the house.  It was quite a change for me–to marry and move to a city where I didn’t know anyone.  Remember, I also didn’t drive at the time, so I was stuck at home all day.  I remember being so happy to see Ed come home every afternoon!

One day,  I saw an ad in the paper for a free kitten.  I asked Ed if we could get a kitten.  His first reply was “no”, but after a while, he gave in.  The kitten was one of those dark, tabby kittens.  Nothing special in the looks department, but oh what a personality that kitten had!  We named her “B. B.” which stood for Baby Bacon.

Life was never boring after we got “B.B.”!  That cat thought she was a person! She learned to scratch at the door to go out or come inside.  She was one of those smart, playful cats that was always into something.  After Ed went to work in the mornings, “B.B.” would stretch out in the bed,  with her head on Ed’s pillow, just like a person.  Unfortunately, she only liked a particular brand of cat food(Cozy Kitten), and it smelled REALLY BAD!!!

Me and "B.B." resting

Me and "B.B." resting

When Ed and I would go back to our hometown for the weekend, “B.B.” would come with us.  One Christmas she actually climbed Ed’s mother’s Christmas tree and turned it over!  We still laugh about that!  I didn’t think it was very funny at the time…

Of course, after a while, the unthinkable happened and our “cat child” came home pregnant!  She had several little kittens.  While the kittens were still very young, “B.B” went out one evening and apparently got hit by a car.  She came home dragging her hind leg.  I was in a panic and had Ed calling several vets to see what we should do.  Most vets wanted to do surgery to fix the leg, but we found one who was willing to put a cast on. 

"B.B." babies & broken leg

"B.B." babies & broken leg

 We didn’t have much money, so we chose to get the cast.  That was a crazy sight–that cat dragging that huge cast behind her.  She’d even walk a chain-link fence with three legs.  Eventually the leg  healed and she didn’t even limp.  The good part about the whole ordeal was that due to her injuries, “B.B.” wasn’t able to have any more babies!

Several years after the broken leg incident, “B.B.” went out for the evening and came home drunk!  She couldn’t even stand up.  Her eyes were all crazy looking and she swayed and fell down when she tried to walk.  She kept meowing and acting crazy.  Again, I got Ed to call the vet.  It turned out that “B.B.” had eaten a blue-tailed lizard which is poisonous to cats.  The vet said most cats die, but a few survive.  Fortunately, “B.B.” beat the odds and survived, although she never did walk quite straight and cocked her head sideways after that.

We had “B.B.” for well over five years.  She survived life in the city, only to disappear a while after we moved back  to our little country hometown.  We don’t know what happened to her, maybe she liked the city life better…

Published in: on May 8, 2009 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Honeymoon Week

Ed and I rode off into “newlywed bliss” in our Chevy SS Chevelle–with “Just Married” written all over it.  Unfortunately, someone used white shoepolish that didn’t come off very easily.  Some of that same shoe polish stayed on the car for as long as we owned it.

our car in front of the church

our car in front of the church

We left the church, with cans rattling and horns blowing, and went straight to our little home in Plantation Estates, Lot # 47.  Ed carried me up those little steps and into our” little piece of heaven”.

Ofcourse, even honeymooners have to eat!  One of my favorite foods then was Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat it often while living in Glennville.  In those days, we didn’t jump in the car and go out of town to eat.  Since Ed and I were now living in the city, it was just a short ride to the friendly KFC.

When Ed and I got to the KFC, they cashier noticed “Just Married” painted on our car and asked us about it.  When Ed told him that we had just gotten married that day, the man gave us our supper for free–as a wedding gift.  That incident started a yearly tradition for us.  We eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken on or around our anniversary each year!

our anniversary tradition

our anniversary tradition

It rained daily the week of our honeymoon.  It wouldn’t  have been so bad, but the rain  kept the gas man from coming to bring our gas tank.  I couldn’t use my new Frolic stove without gas. (the name of my stove has been a family  joke for years–it really was a Frolic by Brown)  Anyway, we ate a lot of bologna sandwiches until Thursday when we finally got some gas.

As I prepared to cook my “not as fresh as they once were” vegetables, I decided to invite company over to share our feast.  Good old Tim and Pat, from our hometown, were also living in the same city as us.  We called them up and asked them over.  I don’t know how good my cooking was, but they didn’t complain.  It was great to see someone from home, also!

By the next day, Ed and I decided we were a bit “home sick”.   We decided to go back to our hometown for a long weekend, before Ed started his new job on Monday.  It was so great to see everyone again!  I’ll never forget my mama telling me that her first instinct was to “jerk Ed out of that bed” when spent our first night together at my parents house.  My mama was something else–she spoke her mind!  I think know that trait lives on through others in our family today.  Care to guess who inherited it???

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

What do I wish had been different?

I’ll take a moment and reflect about the wedding and what I would change if I could, then I’ll get to the honeymoon.

I wish my only wedding pictures weren’t polaroids!  While it  was neat to see the images instantly, I had no idea that those images wouldn’t hold up through time.

I shouldn’t have cut off my dress.  It was very pretty when it was “tea length”.  It had a delicate scolloped hem, that looked “bridal”.  I just didn’t happen to like the length at the time.  Now, being older and more mature, I realize it may have looked better left longer with the pretty hem.

I should’ve given in and at least put some flowers in my hair.  It would’ve made me look more like a bride.  I don’t know why I couldn’t see that then. 

The last thing that I wish I’d have done was to ask Ed’s parents to let us have the wedding reception at their house.  They hosted the rehearsal supper in their newly built den and it was absolutely beautiful.  We could’ve used the same tables, chairs, and decorations.  The rehearsal supper was, by far, the prettiest part of the whole wedding.  We could’ve mingled with wedding guests much better there, too.

Well, as they say, hind sight is 20/20 and we can’t go back.  We are just as married as we would’ve been if I’d changed those things, and I don’t think we could’ve been one bit happier as we began our life together.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Our wedding day

June 18, 1972 started out as a hot, sunny day.  In addition to being our wedding day, it was also Father’s Day.  I got up early that day and went out to my daddy’s garden and picked fresh vegetables.  Some people found that amusing.  I wanted some vegetables to take with me on our honeymoon. 

I guess you are wondering what I was going to do with vegetables on our honeymoon…The truth is, Ed wanted to go on a trip for our honeymoon, while I wanted to go to our newly purchased mobile home and cook!  Little did I know that it would rain daily, and because of this, it would be four days before we got any gas to make that new stove work!   Long story short, we ate a lot of bologna sandwiches before we got to eat those vegetables!

Now, back to the story of the wedding day…The most nerve-racking event of the whole day was moving the wedding cake.  We picked it up the day before the wedding and were shown how to assemble the three tiers.  We got it home safely, only to have to move it to the church the next day!  Once we finally got the cake to the church, we had to very carefully put it together.  Luckily we didn’t have any disasters!

Sharing the cake

Sharing the cake

We had to have our reception in a tiny Sunday School room at the church because there was no social hall.  In those days most churches didn’t have social halls.  Their social events were held outside.  I thought about having the reception outside, but it was June and it usually rained every afternoon.  Sure enough, two hours before the wedding, it stormed!

I remember finally getting dressed, getting to the church and standing at the door waiting to walk down the aisle with my daddy.  When the doors of the church opened I looked inside and the church was full.  I almost had a heart attack!  Somehow I made it down that aisle and Ed and I got married in front of all of those people.  I have no idea who most of the people were at the wedding–not that I didn’t know them, I just sort of blocked them out.  As far as I was concerned, it was just Ed and me.  Neither of us wanted to try repeating the wedding vows, so we just opted for answering  simply I will.  No singing either, just short, sweet, and to the point!

Happy Newlyweds

Happy Newlyweds

My brother took polaroid pictures of us after the wedding.  In 1972 polaroid pictures were the latest and greatest technology.  Unfortunately, today all of our polaroid pictures are fading away into nothing.  Fortunately, our marriage has held up better than our pictures and that’s what really counts!

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Planning for a wedding…

The preacher, Kathy, and Ed

The preacher, Kathy, and Ed

It was the first week of June in 1972.  I’d just graduated from high school and Ed had just returned from Okinawa.  Within that first week Ed  bought a car, found a job, and we purchased what was to be our first home.  Now came the time to plan the wedding.

Our first task was to pick a date.  We looked at the calendar and saw that June 18 was on Sunday.  We also knew that June 18 was  Sue’s (the person who introduced us) birthday.  We decided it would be nice to get married on Sue’s birthday and ask her to be our maid of honor.  We had just two short weeks to plan a wedding!

We both knew that we wanted a small wedding and money was scarce so it needed to be cheap.  We actually had a three hundred dollar budget, if you can believe that!  We chose the church/preacher and decided to get married at 4 o’clock.

When we called Sue, she wasn’t able to come for the wedding, so my next choice for maid of honor was my high school friend Karen.  I told  her to just pick a dress of her choice and let me know the color.  She chose blue and I matched the wedding color to her dress.  How simple was that?  Ed chose his daddy to be the best man.

We ordered two large baskets of flowers for the front of the church–and I still remember that they cost thirty-five dollars each!  Next I found a lady to make the wedding cake.  I didn’t look at any pictures, I just walked in the lady’s house and saw a wedding cake that she’d made for someone else’s wedding.  I liked the way it looked and ordered one just like it.

The last thing Ed and I needed to do was to find something to wear.  Ed chose a navy pin stripe suit with a blue shirt.  The problem came when he stated that he wanted to wear his brown suede Dingo boots with the suit!  I was horrified!  He was so determined(I think just to aggravate me) that I finally asked his mama to make sure he wore some dress shoes.  Ed finally bought some black wing tip shoes, but he didn’t like them!

Ed’s mama, my mama, and I went to the city to find a dress for me to wear.  I  wanted a simple, short white dress.  After looking in a few stores I found what I considered to be the perfect dress–except it was “tea length”.  I decided I’d cut it off.  Now that I think about it, if I’d been the mom I would’ve had a “hissy fit” if my daughter said she planned to take the scissors to her wedding dress!  My mama never said a work though, and I cut it off and hemmed it myself.  Next we found a pair of white satin shoes and I was all set.  Unfortunately once we got home with those shoes, I discovered that one of the little nails in the sole poked through and stabbed me in the bottom of the foot when I walked.  Of course we were on a tight schedule and there was no time to return them, so I put a wad of tape over the nail and wore them anyway–just once for the wedding! 

I refused to wear a veil or any flowers in my hair, which became quite an issue with some people!   I am a stubborn person and refused to give in.  I had thick, waist length hair and didn’t feel the need to add anything else to my head!

In addition to putting all of the wedding plans in place, Ed and I also had to move our things to the mobile home that we’d bought.  I can still remember loading Ed’s daddy’s pickup with all of our things and heading for the city.  I can also remember Ed’s mama taking me to buy the first groceries for our pantry.  I bought everything to stock the pantry and a week’s worth of food for just twenty five dollars!  I  had a grocery cart stacked full, too.

The last thing that Ed and I had to do was meet with the preacher for pre-marriage counseling, which we did.  It was sort of funny because the preacher was also the mailman who delivered all of those love letters from Ed to me for the past two years!

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Whirlwind…

I don’t know any way to describe the days following Ed’s release from the army  except a “whirlwind” of excitement and activity.  As I reflect now, I don’t know how we got everything accomplished in that short amount of time.

The first “order of business” was to purchase a car.  Ed saved money the whole time that he was in the army.  He used this money to purchase a 1971 SS Chevelle.  Oh, what a car that was!  We both loved it.  It was a 4 speed, 396 with  cal induction.  Gold with black racing stripes….

Ed’s next task was to find a job.  Our friend, Tim, had already gotten a job working in a nearby city.  Ed decided to go to the same hospital that had hired Tim to see if there were any more job openings.  BINGO!  Ed got a job.  He was to begin working in 3 weeks.

Now that Ed had a car and a job, the next step was to find a place to live.  He was thinking that he’d move to the city, about 60 miles away from our little town, and come home to visit on the weekends.  I had other ideas!  I was mortified at the thought of being left behind again and I told Ed this.  I told him that I had stayed behind for over two years and I didn’t intend to be left behind anymore.  I suggested that we either get married or call it quits–I couldn’t take anymore.  Thank goodness, Ed agreed that we would get married!

The next order of business was to plan a wedding and find a place to live–at the same time!  We went to the city where we were planning to live and looked at apartments.  What an experience that was!  Just going from the country to the city was an experience in itself!  The first set of apartments that we looked at were like motel units, they were lined up next to each other with the parking lot out front.  I told Ed that I couldn’t live where I didn’t have any yard!  Next we looked at a single unit apartment that was old and had huge cockroaches laying on the floor dead! Ugh, not for us!  The last place that we looked at was a mobile home that was for rent.  It was the best looking place that we looked at.  Then we started thinking….why rent, why not buy?

We decided to look at new mobile homes.  In those days there were lots of  mobile home dealers.  We shopped around an found a little “Vega” mobile home that we both liked.  It had two bedrooms and was decorated in the Spanish theme of red, black and white.   The price was right, $4,468.09 tax included!  We purchased our first home! 

We traveled just down the road from the mobile home dealer and found a mobile home park called Plantation Estates.  Ah, we liked the sound of that.  It reminded us of home.  We rented lot # 47 of Plantation Estates, then we let the mobile home dealer know where to deliver our home.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Not too bad for the first week….bought a car, found a job, purchased a home….now for planning the wedding!

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 2:46 am  Leave a Comment