Monday, February 08, 2010

From MIA TO AWOL! ONE FIANCÉ! Part 4: Get Me to the Church on Time.

Part 4 of the continuing saga, Get Me to the Church on Time, will further illustrate the vast chasm Life Companion (LC) and I navigated, and continue to navigate.

Remember in Part 1 I compared our motivational types, A and Z. In Part 2 I illustrated the unusual 13 year courtship, the military aspect, my love of single life and finally engagement and a wedding date, Friday, Feb. 21, 1969 In Part 3 the problems LC had in arriving in Texas from Virginia, being basically MIA-a military term for missing in action.

The possibility this postponed wedding might be the male version of "dear Johnette" raced through my agitated psyche. Somehow I believed there would be a reasonable resolution.

I have a saying based on my religious belief is God's time and my time are not in the same time zone (God has no time unless infinity can be so defined). LC was in a different time zone than mine.Indeed I think he has another time zone altogether different from anyone else. Along with all these times, he was coping with a number of issues complicating his once simple life style of "have orders, pack sea bag and report to ship by any means possible."

Patience was a virtue I had, and still have, in short supply. Day 2 (Thursday) was soon to sorely test me even more than Day 1 (Wednesday) of "getting LC to Texas. "

LC at least now had a flight number. My same passel of adventurous friends decided to meet the plane as it would shorten his travel by bus or air and his weariness (Why did we ever worry about that? We were to be the weary ones!).

Before leaving home, I called Love Field. Oh yes, the flight was on schedule. Again, we made the 200+ round trip to Dallas.

When we arrived at the airport, LC was nowhere to be found. Yes the manifest showed he arrived, but there was no subsequent booking out of Love Field.

We panicked a tad, but figured he headed to the bus station which was in the middle of downtown Dallas. Not knowing the bus schedule, we headed downtown. The Dallas bus station is always bustling with activity. Several bus lines made stops in Dallas. But only a few stopped in my hometown. We patiently took a place in one line after another, but no tickets had been sold to LC, or so they said.

We were really bewildered. He had to be in Dallas SOMEWHERE! We analyzed the schedules and decided he may have chosen to spend the night and leave on a very early morning bus which would put him in my hometown with only an afternoon to get tests, etc., done. It becomes dark around 5 p.m. in February.

By now in downtown Dallas it was dark and so was the temperament of some very weary persons in search of a ghostly groom.

After a few rounds of coffee at the bus station we began another desperate search of this 2-day tour of Dallas, not to mention padding the pockets of Texas petroleum billionaires, and the tourism industry.

We decided to search at every bar, hotel, motel, flop house, and one night stands, asking if he was boarding there. We started with a very nice hotel, the Driscoll, near the bus station and spread out in a wide circumference of the bus station.

We entered places I had never seen, including a variety of bars I did not know existed. There were bars, then there were.....well.. bars.

I feared for our safety as we had two teenage girls with us. They and I saw a cross section of downtown night life in Dallas. I don't even contemplate what I would have said or done, had LC been in some of the night low life places.

Without a question our search for LC gave new meaning to "a night on the town!"
Despite the questionable places we entered with trepidation, we were addressed and treated with courtesy; our questions were answered simply. Of course they may have suspected we might be some kind of undercover law enforcement!

Finally, at 4 a.m. we dragged ourselves into an all night drug store (Yes, in 1969 there were all night drug stores in Dallas most of which were NOT Walgreen's)which had a food counter. More coffee and some food. I don't remember what. We all were numb and weary beyond weary.

We regrouped. There was an early bus out about 7 a.m. We would go meet that bus. No LC and we would head home to ponder my fate which seemed even more firmly planted in spinsterhood.

We found several seats together and promptly began snoozing....except I don't snooze very much short sleep disorder. As buses arrived, the bustle of boarding and deboarding would awaken me.

As daylight arrived, the number of buses arriving and departing increased, more noise and air pollution. As 7 a.m. drew near, I focused myself on the entrances nearest the bus line whose destination was my hometown. I was beginning to sink in deep despair as only 15 minutes remained before departure of the 7 a.m. bus.

I awakened my group with the intention of leaving before the heavy Friday morning commute began. We stood up to stretch our tired bodies, when I again glanced at the entrance to see a familiar man grinning from ear to ear, coming in the door, rested and fresh from an all night SLEEP in the Driscoll Hotel.

At that moment I and my group could have easily murdered a desk clerk who lied to us about a registered guest. However, I suppose there were privacy laws even then. But we were way tired.

We piled in my friends' car and made the trip home in time for us to get blood work drawn and off to the lab. However, there were still small, but important requirements we had to complete before the afternoon ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 22, 1969, George Washington's Birthday.

Stay tuned for Part 5 the Finale to Get Me to the Church on Time.

A poem in my wedding book:

[Author pen names:
Jan Struther, Joyce Anstuther,
Joyce Maxine Graham, Joyce Placzek ]

Dear, if some god (lonely in Paradise
And jealous of my two-fold ecstasy)
Were to demand one half as sacrifice-
My love for you, or else your love for me:
O then I'd choose that you should need me less,
So my own body still for you might crave;
And all your passion, all your tenderness
I'd lose, my own heart's tenderness to save.
I'd sooner hear the ardour in your voice
Grow false and dull, than feel my own lips falter
On old endearments. This should be my choice,
If choice must be, to deck the high god's altar.
For to love, loveless, is a bitter pill:
But to be loved, unloving, bitterer still.


jinksy said...

A heartrending poem - but hang out the flags! IT RHYMES! You gladden my heart by that one simple fact, as I have rhyming in my bones.
Here's to the next instalment of your epic tale...

Arkansas Patti said...

Good grief. You know, had there been cell phones at that time, this whole story could be written in one paragraph. I guess in a way we are lucky there were no cell phones, for this is much more fun--in retrospect.
Child, you really must love that lug and he you for it sure wasn't easy. Perhaps, marriages today should start that way. Those who ocmplete "The Grea Race", will make the long haul.
Good thing we know this has a happy ending. Waiting to hear "the rest of the story."

NitWit1 said...

-Jinksy: I had that poem in a collection long before I considered marriage. It, as you describe, heartrending. However, it is true of many kinds of relationships, especially marriage.
-Arkansas Patti: the Cell Phone: SO true. I think in those days physicians, emergency personnel had what was called mobile phones and pagers, but a cell--it was the smallest part of an organism or life in my vernacular.
-I believe marriages later--at least late twenties-the parties have more commitment. Maybe I have a smaller populace to unscientifically survey, but there seems to be a trend in that direction: the out of high school marriage appears on the decline.
-BUT regardless, it has NOT been easy for either of us.

Oh yes: It is snowing again in the Ozarks!

Small City Scenes said...

What a tale you tell. I think--not only would I murder the hotel clerk but the grinning lug too. Figuratively speaking of course. ha! Waiting for the next installment. MB

Sandi McBride said...

You tell such a wonderful story...I went back and did my catching up! You are a hoot, girlfriend! Love the poem...doing a bit of copy and paste here!

Linda said...

Oh my, I would never have survived. Congratulations to you and the lug for making your marriage work after such a rough beginning.

Anonymous said...

Cell phones back then would have made a difference in life and everything else. We still didn't have a phone on our home until the late 1950s

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