Friday, July 14, 2017

Things That Happened Before They Invented Instagram #4

flicker almaraz
In June, I ran into Paula (born 1927) and  her lovely daughter.  We were chatting about where she grew up and she told me such a wonderful story about meeting and marrying her husband.  All of which happened (of course) before they invented Instagram...

flicker history camp pendleton

Paula was finishing high school when she met and married her husband Harlan (“Whitey”).  She said he was enlisted in the Navy as a Pharmacist's Mate assigned to the Marines at Camp Pendleton.

At 90 years old Paula still had a broad smile and twinkle in her eyes as she told me that she has always LOVED to dance. As a teenager she wanted to dance every song. She was relentless and so, Harlan would enlist other marines to dance with her.  In a sweet memory shared by her daughter, she said that Harlan liked to say he “wanted to get paid if he had to work that hard (at dancing).”  Mother and daughter had a good laugh at that one.  

Harlan was the youngest of 5 brothers.  All four of his other brothers were already overseas in the war.  Paula said they didn’t usually send out the 5th/last brother into combat but they needed Harlan, so he went.  She said all of them made it through the war, but on the day after the war was over her husband’s oldest brother was killed when his ship was sunk (they didn’t know the war had ended).  

I asked her how she dealt with waiting for her husband while he was serving overseas.  She said she was in high school so she just kept busy with her school work (and dancing! – her daughter was quick to interject) and didn’t think much about it.  She never got to see him much before he was sent overseas anyway, only when he got leave.  

When Harlan came home from the war they moved to northern California and bought the A&W in Newman.  They renamed it "Whitey’s Mug.

Harlan passed away in 2012. Harlan and Paula would have been married 71 years this year.

Everyone has a story to tell.  What's yours?

{All the stories shared in "Things That Happened Before They Invented Instagram" come from the lives of real people that I am privileged to meet each day. They have led exceptional lives and I feel honored to hear the stories that they tell.} 

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