Some good folks have noted that it would be a good idea, if they could see a photo of The Blonde in the house. Curiosity is a powerful emotion so it should be satisfied in that regard today. The editor of this fine publication has agreed to show a photo of the Blonde and I which accompanies this article. You will note immediately that Ginny is a sweet humdinger that I have been lucky to have by my side for many years. You may also note that I looked slightly older than the 18 year old photo that has been accompanying my columns. Life does march on so I will begin at the beginning.
One very nice evening I went to a night school dance at the University of Pittsburgh. I looked across a crowded room and saw her. I then made a beeline for her while blocking out several guys (including a couple of Pitt linebackers) who had the same idea. I asked her to dance, and she said yes. However, the band decided to do some kind of a group dance so I asked her to stay and we could dance the next dance. She did and matters progressed nicely. We met in October, got engaged in February and married in June. The engagement was a surprise. My uncle had a jewelry store, and since I was making $300 a month I called him as I knew he would give me a good price on a ring.
When we walked into my Uncle’s store he immediately hollered out, “You are here for the ring.” I hadn’t mentioned the purpose of meeting my uncle to her. Luckily, she accepted the idea and we picked out one. We then made plans for a honeymoon in the Poconos at a resort that was solely for honeymooners. The whole week for both of us including three meals a day was $128. Even that was a strain on $315 (I got a raise) a month. We then moved to Westerville, Ohio where I had the high paying job. Two months to the day after we were married, I got drafted. We then spent time at Fort Gordon, Ga. where The Blonde got a job with the V.A. which with my private’s salary enabled us to live the good life. I even saw Arnold Palmer win the Masters. If you went there in uniform, they let you in for half price. Those were the days!
While we got ready to leave the Army, I was applying for jobs in the city manager field. One city in Pennsylvania offered me $4,000 a year, and another one in South Carolina came up with a $4,500 offer. We knew that we would soon become proud parents and those salaries would not work so I accepted a job as an assistant to the City Manager in Roanoke, Va. at a whopping $5,500. We stayed there for three years while I learned from one of the great city managers, Arthur Owens. Then I got my chance to go out on my own and accepted a position as City Manager in Pennsylvania. From then on I accepted jobs around the country ending up with two in Pennsylvania, four in New Jersey, one in West Virginia, one in Minnesota and the last two in Florida.
Moving so much required quite an effort on The Blonde’s part. I often had to go ahead to start my job, and she was left with the moving pains along with three children one of whom is handicapped. She never complained, and to this day she says she misses the excitement of the days when I was a city manager. In that regard I might mention that when we found The Villages, I moved my retirement up six months. We both agree that was a wise decision and have not regretted moving here.
My final comment relates to the fact that if you have The Blonde in the house with you every place is great!
Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com.