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The world when we marriedPosted Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 9:16 AM
In 1960 the United States elected a young visionary to the office of President. Something he proclaimed affected us "Let the word go forth from this time and place that the torch has been passed to a new generation..." We who were then young, as the young do, actually believed the world would be better. By 1963, as happens to visionaries, ignorance and hatred killed the young idealist and some of his and our dreams.
In 1964 I started working as an Underwriter for a St. Louis insurance firm. In those days newspapers listed jobs as either "Men Wanted," or "Women Wanted." In my case to get the job a letter was written to a "blind" ad, which requested a duly submitted photo. If you do not know why the photo it is because you did not live through the Civil Rights revolutions that were soon upon us.
It was a job with steady work, bright future, and excellent pay -- something a prospective mother-in-law would see as good prospects. My starting salary, as I recall, was $485 per month, a $200 increase from my pay as a Police Department clerk. With my newly found wealth I was able to afford my own apartment, and incur my first $250 debt -- a living room suite lasting some 20 years.
This was my first introduction to a computer -- about the size as a luxury motorized RV. It was also here I first heard the phase "G-I-G-O" (garbage in garbage out).
In 1965, on the sixth day of November, Kay and I were married. We had only known each other a little less than nine months. Only much later did it even occur to me that anyone would look on our "whirlwind romance" with doubt. I loved her and believed -- knew and still know, actually -- she was God's choice for the rest of my life.
Nothing in our faith, our 1965 worldviews, or our culture would have led us to even think of any relationship other than marriage, and that until death did us part. Maybe if we hadn't been so young, but we were. Maybe if we knew of the dark days ahead, but we did not. Today I am glad we were too young and too blind. Time has made the dark times disappear into the light of the good times, and love become more than we could have imagined.
We Honeymooned in Chicago -- taking in all the sights we cared to see, including a live off-Broadway production of "Funny Girl." We drove there and back in the new car we'd purchased for $2500. My budget for the trip was $300 cash (I would not have qualified for the only known credit cards, Diners Club and American Express). We came home with change.
Today's world is certainly not that of the young idealist's promise. Is the world better now than when we married, or is it worse? I don't know, but suspect both are true. All I am sure of is that the world is different now than the world when we married.
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