I think of a couple engaged for 6 months. A thin blond beauty, a skinny red head, she, just 18 by one day and he, 20. The red head has been working at Sharon Steel. He already has served 3 years in the Army in Panama. He lied about his age before his senior year in high school because he couldn't afford a suit. It was the Great Depression.He's been home about a year.
They met at Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio, the
summer before. The girl wouldn't accept a diamond on her graduation, but
said yes a week later. Her dad tells her she is "crazier than that dog
over there" His mom sees them "necking" in his living room, "I see what
you're doing Gerald."
He replied,"I don't care, Mother."
Harbor, an unbelievable event happens, and their plans are changed.
December tenth, he signs up for the Army Air Corp for the duration of the
war. I'm not really sure what their plans were before Pearl Harbor,
probably get married in the spring.
So, I guess in a way, that didn't change.
got a twenty four hour pass from Roosevelt Field and came to Sharon, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1942
and married the girl, in a Methodist parsonage. They had a dinner in a
restaurant in Mercer, Pennsylvania, the town his sister lived. She was there, with the
dog Mike. Billy Boal and Frances,
(not sure if they were married, yet) stood up for them. His mother died before they married of cancer at age forty two.
The young lady joined him two weeks later in New York City for their honeymoon. She
rode a train with cars from the Civil War or so she thought since they
were old and rickety. She covered with newspaper to save herself from
the soot. But her face was black. He didn't care.
It's a story of
patriotism and love that I grew up hearing. I wish now I could ask a few
more questions. I never tired of hearing their love story or telling it.