Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Memory Lane

To celebrate my marriage, I'd like to share with you the marriages that made mine possible (literally!). Vonda Dardanella Maloney and Kenneth Carl Wilhoit. My grandfather's middle name was "C", just the initial. Then when he joined the Air Force they told him to pick a middle name, so he picked Carl. They met in Telford, Tennessee, a tiny town where they were pretty much the only two families. Kenneth was one of five boys, Vonda was one of eleven. Vonda's youngest brother Sonny still lives on the family tobacco farm they grew up on. Her sister-in-law, Beulah, still lives next door, and when we were little they would take us to the creek house where they kept the milk cool in the creek before refrigerators. There are still tobacco leaves high up in the rafters of the old barn, and Vonda will tell you the story of how she used to jump from the high, high rafters onto hay bales. They married in 1942 when she was 17 and he was 26, and just a few months later he left to fight in the pacific theater of World War II. She didn't see him for five years. They lived in Germany, and Japan, and my dad was born while they lived in Washington, DC. Kenneth died when I was in 7th grade, and she still lives across the street from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.Patricia Rue and Sammy Rhodes met in a train station en route from Kentucky to California, when she was 18. She has joined the Army and was part of the Women's Army Corps (WAC). She was crying in the Memphis train station, on her way to be far from home for the first time. He walked up and handed her his handkerchief. After they got to California, he was supposed to ship out immediately to Japan, but he had his orders changed so he could stay with her longer. They married in Japan in 1950, and my mother & aunt spent several childhood years in Tehran, Iran as well as El Paso with the Army.
This is Vanessa Blankenship on the day she married Wayne Kilpatrick. She was 18, and they had just graduated from being the hot couple at Carter High School in Dallas. It was the early 70's.
This is Michael Crowe and Stephanie Rhodes, my mother's sister. After graduating from Baylor, Stephanie found a job in Frankfurt, Germany. Mike was working for the State Department. They eloped to Switzerland, and honeymooned in Ibiza. They later had another wedding for family in the States.
And now, sweet Randall Kenneth Wilhoit and Susan Leigh Rhodes. This was April of 1983 at Wilshire Baptist in Dallas. They met in graduate school at Baylor when they had a business class together. My mom was engaged to her high school boyfriend of many years, but broke it off. A few months later, Dad had the ring in his pocket, ready to propose on Baylor's Fountain Mall (when it actually contained a fountain!). They honeymooned in Cancun, and it rained the whole time. I'm wearing her veil this Saturday night.
Funny... we're headed not far from there next Monday, for our own little honeymoon...

1 comment:

anne said...

hi...it's anne :). oh my goodness, that was the sweetest post. precious, precious family. what a great legacy!