He was working for Allis-Chalmers, and since February he had
been attending a church where one of his fellow Aggies was a pastor. "I met her at Bellview Baptist Church. She sang a solo,
and she was wearing this pretty, yellow pinafore dress."
That was in August, and Mom's father invited this young Texan over for Sunday dinner.
I think he was pretty smitten from then on. They started dating each other. Mom says she was
still getting asked out by would-be suitors, but she turned them all down, and pretty soon
it was obvious that these two were very committed to each other.
My dad also had a commitment with Uncle Sam in his very near future, and before
he had to report for duty in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, they decided to get married. In fact, they drove down to Raton on the 5th of January, 1957 and eloped! Soon after that, they revealed to Gigi & Granddad that they were now married.
Joyce broke it to her mom (Gigi), and Earl broke it to his new wife's father (Granddad).
The ladies were at home while the men were out taking care of the horses.
The thing both of my parents remember the most is Granddad's reaction:
"I don't expect to get her back," he told his new son-in-law. Soon they headed to Fort Sill, and he began his brief active military career.
"The war was winding down, and they had more personnel than they needed. My wife
had a bigger paycheck than me, the way things were working out for officers' wives.
Several months into it, I had a choice of being an aide-de-camp in Hawaii, or I could
get out of the military altogether and earn $350 a month with Allis-Chalmers.
It was an easy choice for me!" This was in the days of 25-cent gasoline... They loaded everything they had into their green Buick convertible, hitched a little trailer to it,
and headed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coincidentally, the largest piece of furniture they
had was my mother's Pfaff sewing machine, which took up most of the trailer.
(I had no knowledge of such a thing as a Pfaff... until I had to buy one for Alissa,
but that's not in this story...)