|Wedding Day, September 1956|
After they had left, Clara Jean’s brother Fred realized he had their luggage in his car. He realized it too late, however, to catch the happy couple, as they were already way down the road. He was in a state of panic that the newlyweds would not have the stuff they needed for their trip. He tried everything to get the bags to my parents, even contacting the local law enforcement, but to no avail. No worries though. Dad said it was not a problem because they had all they really needed for their honeymoon.
They toured the mountains, a Cherokee Indian Reservation and went to visit one of Clara Jean’s sisters, during their time away. Knowing that dad would have to leave when they got home, probably made the trip seem shorter than ever.
After they returned home, dad headed to South Dakota and mom stayed in North Carolina to finish school. At Christmas of that year, she headed up to join him in the frigid Rapid City weather. They began their life together a long way from North Carolina, a long way from home, a long way from family.
I asked my dad about the day I was born and he said, “We did not live far from the hospital. We had made several dry runs to time it, see how long it took, etc. The night your mom's water broke, we got up, got dressed, got her bag, got in the car and drove right past the hospital…we laughed about that for years. In those days you could not go in the room for delivery… I got word of your birth then took off to see you.”
|Me standing in front of the hospital I was born in.|
I don’t remember anything about our stay in South Dakota because I was still very little and we weren’t there long after I was born. As was typical of Air Force families at that time, we were off to a new base long before we had the chance to put down too many roots. However, I do know that while there, Rev. Rew Walz baptized me at First Presbyterian Church. Right after I was born he typed me a note and placed it inside a tiny white bible that he gave me. I still have both to this day.
It wasn’t long and we moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina. My dad was transferred to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and on April 15, 1959, my brother Kevin came into this world. We are 15 months apart in age. He was my best friend and what one didn’t think of, the other did. We had many exciting adventures as kids, much to my parent’s chagrin. I’ll share more on our escapades later.
This was a great place to go after being all the way out in South Dakota. Mom and dad were close to home again. Our house was on Luftberry Drive and when I went looking for that address on Google Earth, it looks like the houses of that time have been torn down and new ones constructed. The house was a Capehart home, which was typical military housing on several of the bases we lived on. If any of them are still standing, they are very old.
Kevin, too, knew little of his birthplace, as we were off to Elmendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska, long before he was able to remember Goldsboro. Moving to Alaska would once again take us a long way from Pinehurst/Southern Pines, North Carolina and to another very cold climate! Would we like it?