Since today is the Anniversary of my marriage to my wife Anita (aka White Girl) I decided to repost the story previously posted in the original pre-blog Owen Newsletter. I am fortunate that the white girl has stuck by me these many years (48 today). She has stood by me through thick and thin with more thin than thick.
My grandpa told me that if I decided to get a woman to be my wife to keep her and that is what I have done. I learned the hard way to listen to my grandpa.
I found her in a little dusty town in Arizona, fell in love, left her and went to Viet Nam and then she finally chased me until I caught her in Rockville, Maryland and married me on 30 September 1966.
Anyway, I won't go into the details but at some point I stole Marty Robbin's song title and here is the original story.
MY WOMAN MY WOMAN MY WIFE
AND THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
I’ve told the kids a lot of different stories over the years about how Anita chased me until I caught her. Well, that part of the story is true. I might have exaggerated some on the rest of the story.
I joined the Navy on a guaranteed Aviation School Program. Henry McDevitt and I tried to get a job right out of High School and didn’t have too much luck. I will always remember my high school graduation. Mama, Grandma, and Thelma were out there in the auditorium on June 9th of 1964. My brother Harold gave me a watch for a graduation present. I kept that watch for years and years and lost it in Hong Kong or the Philippines. I don’t rightly remember which. My graduation ring went to a pretty girl who wrote me two or three letters in Boot Camp and then finally a Dear John letter. Gerald could identify with that since he has always called himself John. Course I have heard Mary Grace call him some other names that we won’t put in the newsletter. So you could say that Gerald has gone by quite a few names. Allen Fisher always called him Joel and I picked up on that. Daddy called him Dammit Gerald.
Any way back to the graduation. They were proud of me and I was proud to have them there. Well, Henry and I got a wild hair one day after putting in 20 or 30 applications and being rejected because we had not put in our service time. At that time the draft was alive and well and Vietnam was just heating up a bit. Henry and I called the Navy recruiter and he met us at Verona’s house in greater downtown Rosman. When the recruiter got there, he wanted us to take a test so Henry took his arm and knocked about 2 cases of empty beer cans off the kitchen table and we proceeded to drink our breakfast beer and take the entrance test. The Navy recruiter sat there and sipped beer while Henry and I finally qualified for a job. We joined on the buddy program and went to San Diego Boot Camp and then to Naval Air Facility, Litchfield Park, Arizona.
There were lots of girls in Arizona and most of them liked Sailors so Henry and I had no problem getting a date for a movie or a drive out to the mountains to look at the moon. One day we went into the drugstore in the small town of Avondale and there was this girl there that acted like she did not especially care for Sailors. I found out quickly that she made the best Tuna Fish Sandwiches I had ever had. Her burgers were so so. Anyway, eventually, Henry and I started dating Anita and Lupe. I don’t know how Lupe got Henry to marry her, especially after Henry lost her to me one night in a Poker Game. When I left town to go to Vietnam (Henry and I both volunteered), Anita was bad sick and when I went to tell her goodbye, her Mama would not let me in the house to see her.
Not too long before Anita and I had argued and she told me that she would not marry me unless I was the last man on earth. Well, after I left and she didn’t have me there to argue with, she started writing me letters. She courted me pretty heavy in those letters and one day I got a letter with a key to her apartment in it. I guess she wanted the last man on earth to come visit her in Arlington Virginia. She had trained for and become an Airlines Reservation Agent and lived in Arlington Virginia and worked in Washington D.C. with Northwest Airlines.
Well, to make a long story short, the last man on earth went to Arlington, the key fit, and he took the girl to Rockville, Maryland and married her. We got in a big fight on our wedding day but I’ll save that story for another time. We just recently celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary and have two great children and some pretty nice grandchildren. I guess you could say that Henry and I lucked out. I guess you could also say that I taught Anita to never again threaten to not marry me if I was the last man on earth. Who got the last laugh there? If I had it to do all over again, I would do it again. She still makes the best Tuna Fish Sandwiches and keeps the last man on earth happy. You don’t suppose she said she wouldn’t marry me because she knew how stubborn I was and planned to marry me all along do you? Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.