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Be Good To Her Skeeter!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

These are some words of advice you should never forget! This tiny GL chick first caught my eye when her one room school was closed and was moved to town. Mine closed two years earlier. Both had lived South of town but paths never crossed. We attended different churches. I did all kinds of actions that a young kid would try to get her attention those early years but nothing seemed to work. But finally in our Jr.year in HS during play practice that she started to think, so, maybe he's not so bad after all. Can't remember our first date but do remember going to the prom. Hope the picture came in? We were in charge of doing all the decorations for the Big Dance in honor of the Sr. class. We both were doers and helped many nights. This picture is in front of her Dads garage dressed for the Prom. My older brother loaned me his new 1955 Bel Air Chevy. instead of my 1947 four door Fleetline Chevy. As I recall Prom date went well with us sitting at garden tables drinking many cups of punch not knowing what to say. That was before I learned to talk!
Our love slowly grew through our Sr. year when our thoughts of what we wanted to do after graduation. I was determined to be a farmer, GLBH wasn't interested in college so sought a secretary job. During our Sr. year she was determined, since she was to be the Valedictorian of our class, to raise my grade point up from the usual C to get me on the Honor Roll, meaning all A's or B's. I relished this tutoring every night at her house. After chores and eating at home would beat a path to her house the 3 miles to study. She worked so hard and the last semester of school year thought she had succeeded . We always had a tradition at our school that the Sr. didn't have to take finals test. Well we had a new Agri. teacher that year and he was not for tradition. He insisted we were going to have one and I balked and tried to "buck" the new guy. Guess who lost? I got a F for not participating. No honor roll for Skeeter. I sure showed him? As you can guess it wasn't the last time I bucked the system.
My music-speech teacher who I credit for bringing me out of my very shy shell, there are many who still haven't forgiven her. She was known for breaking many a mirror in her day but I never noticed this about her, she had such inner beauty and knack for bringing out the talent from the most unlikely people. Our vocal dept. was always winning 1st. in State along with the Madrigal singers even thought our school was one of the smallest in the state. She was GOOD! After graduation she wanted me to take a sales- delivering job working for her Dad and Husband. Her Dad owned the local Chevy. dealership in town and were expanding their business to include a new process of recapping tires. I had to turn her-them down. Sorry I said but my dream has always been to be a farmer.
With no farm in site went to work for Del Monty and local farmer.
Learned valuable lesson's in life as a "hired man". Many salesman would come to the farm and asking for the boss, wouldn't give the time of day, just a lowlife couldn't even remember my name. I got satisfaction from one of them the next year when I had rented a farm and he was all friendly and wanting to sell me fuel for my farm. He finally knew my name. I politely said no!
Getting ahead of my story.
In spring of 1957 decided to ask her to marry. Didn't ask Dad for her hand because I was afraid of the answer he would give. We dealt with that later.
I bought her the best diamond ring I could fine for $100.00 in a wholesale catalog from Chicago.
Now how to pop the question. Parked my 47 Chevy in front of that garage in the picture, got her in the car and asked her to get something out of the glove box, there was the opened box with nothing else in there. Now wasn't that neat!
We set the date for the same Nov. 14 th. date that my Great sister Ann403 was married. But good fortune just kept following us around.
My FIL knew of a neighboring farm that might come up for rent. In those days Del Monty rented farms from older landlords for 3 years, two years peas and the last year sweetcorn, then gave it up. Found out a local Farm Manager- Insurance salesman would be renting it out. He was Mr. Swanson, he had come to town in 1948 to teach Agri. at our school. Did that for one year but one day at a teachers meeting he looked around, saw mostly old women and decided what the hell am I doing here?
My only contact with him had been when he subbed taught Agri. class, guess he thought I wasn't too bad and egg, because he rented me the farm! It just seemed too good to be true. He told me most farmers in the area were getting older and we need young ones to get started. Both my D and FIL farmed so I know that also helped. He would write up a lease and have me sign it. 2-3 weeks went by and we kept hearing rumors that this guy had it rented then that guy claimed he had, I got nervous and went to see him again, he explained that he had over 40 farmers wanting that farm but his word was good , I told you you had it, and would get the lease to me soon. His handshake is still good to this day. I still have that same lease, it is time tested. I have told Mr. Swanson many times he is responsible for where I am today. He made my dream come true and much more. I will write more about him at another time. He recently let me read his memoirs, so interesting.
We made major decisions on our marriage plans. Instead of marrying in Nov. rent an apartment for 3 months then move in our own rented farm house in march 1st. just postponed the wedding until Feb. 16th. 1958. One of the very few times a wedding has been moved back instead of forward. Yes that happened in those days too.
Winter went fast, GLBH was working at USF@G insurance job and I at neighbor gas station. After Jan. worked at our soon to be new home along with our parents, they did most of the work, taking off wallpaper, sanding floors and painting, getting ready for the wedding. All I did for the wedding was stay out of my soon to be MIL's way.
Wedding went off great as I recall, perfect Feb. day. Very cold, set a record over night. FIL delighted in telling anyone that " it will be a COLD day in hell before he ever gives his only Daughter away", and he meant it. We soon formed a great bond, took just a little longer for the MIL
I remember the receiving line, only the old ladies kissing me and everyone kissing my precious new bride.
One of our neighbors known as " Little Bill" Heibenthal came through the line. He was 10 years older than I and farming with a young family. We worked back and forth with him, very colorful, outspoken, hit the bottle a little and probably the last person I would have expected to hear these words, "Be Good To Her Skeeter"! Of all the advice I have had all through these years, most not remembered, these have stuck. They will never be forgotten! I have seen "Little Bill" as recently as this past summer at our All Class reunion and delight in telling him this story. He claims he doesn't remember saying it but is getting pretty old.
My GLBH plays the organ and has played at many weddings, I always go and most of the time I give the same advice to the groom, a few I don't waist the time, figure it won't help!
I am writing this to honor a great soulmate these past 52 years, the Love of my life, I love her more today than the day I received this good advice.
Now maybe I wont have to buy her a gift.
Have I always followed this advice? I think the GLBH will have to answer that.
How does wedded bliss work? We made a pack early in our marriage, she makes all the small decisions that happen every day and she let's me make the big ones like just when we should bomb China!
Be good to those you hold dearly and they will Love you forever.
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