But, I am married to a guy who is 70 years old today, the 31st of December, a good little tax deduction for his parents back in 1946. So, I thought I’d write an ‘Ode to Gary’ and cull through all the old photos he has laboriously put onto our computer and find some of my favorites.
It stated with Darlene and Milan, nicknamed ‘Lug’ who survived the war where she was a waitress in Fort Dodge and he was in the Navy in Hawaii. They hardly knew each other when the war began but began a long correspondence when he was shipped out to Hawaii. Their letters were censored, of course, but mostly they were about mundane things. He was an artist and drew little cartoons all over the envelopes. About 20 years ago, Darlene was showing these to us but, since they were love letters, she was just showing us the cartoons on the envelopes. Cool. She died in 2001 and he died in 2013. Then the search began. We looked high and low, in the attic and in the basement, through every box they had squirreled away over 55 years of marriage looking for those letters. Never found them, What a disappointment to all of us.
But here they are, in quite a playful mood.
Meanwhile, the family was growing and here is little Gary at 3 months.
A friend took this picture for him to send home to show his parents how suave and cool he looked in his new uniform. Now, Gary worked with a bunch of guys and they all smoked and got breaks to go out for a cigarette. Gary asked if he could go with them but was told that he couldn’t because he didn’t smoke. He had to stay at his workbench and keep working. Well, he’s no dummy, he took up smoking too. When his little sister saw this picture, she yelled, ‘look, he’s got a cigarette.’ And, that was the end of that.
So, did I fall for him because of his dreamy eyes? His paisley shirt?