Wednesday, December 28, 2005

60 years ago...

My parents met while they were both stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia after WWII. He was a mechanic and she was a parachute rigger. They were married on December 28, 1945, beginning a whirlwind adventure of travel the likes of which neither one of them could have imagined. They lived in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Texas, Maryland, Germany, and Japan. The only place he went without her was Korea - twice.

After WWII my dad was sent to Japan during the Occupation. According to one of my mother's stories, a giant troop ship was converted for dependent use and hundreds of women and children were shipped to Japan to live with their GI husbands. The ship sailed from New York and ended up in Japan. I wish I could remember the length of the voyage and the exact route, but I do remember her saying she thought it would never end. She said all the babies were sick and crying the whole way, and she thought if she could ever get off that ship, she never wanted to see or hear another baby (but of course she did - my brother, John was born in Japan!)

While in Germany, they traveled around Europe and (according to the home movies) we went camping in the Alps, went to the Octoberfest in Germany, rode on a gondola in Venice, saw windmills and acres of tulips in Holland, and saw lots of castles and churches and beautiful countryside.

They retired the first time in 1964 after he had 23 years in the Army, moving here to the north Georgia mountains. After 20 years they moved again to sunny Florida for the rest of their years together.


Motherkitty said...

What an exciting life they had. It's good that your parents shared their experiences/adventures with you and now the rest of the family will know about them. I noticed that you said "we" traveled throughout Europe. Were you also there or was this a misspoken word? They must have loved each other enormously. Most Army wives have to carry on by themselves at home during times of war. But your mother was lucky to have adventures with the love of her life. Thanks for sharing with us.

susan said...

Yes, I was there, around 4 or 5 years old when in Europe, but unfortunately do not remember much about it. When I try to remember, the images are the same as those in the home movies, so at least we have those! She complained about all the moving, but I think she really enjoyed the traveling, seeing new places, and meeting new people.

Alice said...

December is certainly a great month for anniversaries in your family, isn't it? Lovely to read about your parents' life. Are they still in Florida?

Although we've been in this house for 30 years, we lived in 5 other places after we were married. Packing isn't fun, and unpacking is only marginally better, but meeting new people and seeing new places is fun.

Your home movies are a wonderful addition to the family histories, which you seem to have right at your fingertips. Good on you, Susan, for keeping those stories alive.

susan said...

My parents have both passed away now.

Finn said...

You know Susan, I think you are a storyteller to your core...and this is absolutely beautiful. It's almost journalistic, but has such a warmth and personal feeling. I am always so impressed by your writing. I have been a fan of Gladys Tabors writing for years and years, and much of yours reminds me of hers.

At a personal level, how wonderful that you have the stories, and know them to tell. They flows from a deep love. December seems to abound with anniversaries for you, and dear ones who have passed. Gentle hugs for sharing your beautiful stories with us, Finn