A Texan Start to Life
My parents were just newly married when they moved to Killeen, Texas so my Dad could "do his time" in the US Army. I came into this world as a "BIG SURPRISE" to this young couple because...........well, that's just how I roll..................
As the story goes, my Father tried to ship enough Virginia soil to the Army hospital so that my birth certificate would hail from his hometown, but I was destined to be a Texan. I learned patience at an early age, too, as I was born at 12:51 pm when the whole medical staff was off for lunch, somewhere in town. I probably wanted to make a bigger statement by arriving at exactly NOON, but the staff told my Mom to "hold it up a bit" until the doctors and nurses returned from their lunch. I don't think she has ever forgiven me for this predicament I put her in!
We lived in Army-provided housing with our Beagle named Gertrude. I do not believe my Father's Mom ever really appreciated the gesture of having the family dog named in her honor. In fact, I am not sure there was anything honorable in the gesture, but he sounded like he was a wonderful pet. There are pictures of her sitting next to me smiling and always being my protector from the other family pet....the scorpion! Apparently very large scorpions were located all over the military base and a nuisance to all young babies and scared Mommies.
Our family lived in Killeen for about 18 months. I love seeing the pictures of my Mom in her Peter Pan-collared shirts and Bermuda shorts and my Dad looking thin and trim as he served his country deep in the heart of Texas. It sounded like a peaceful beginning to my wonderful life. Elvis Presley did come and perform on the Army barracks one evening in 1957, which after my birth was probably the most notable of events that year.
My absolute favorite story involved our miserable washing machine. Mom described the machine as a sort of monster that when running, caused loud, abrupt noises that often woke me up. (This probably explains my inherent dislike for doing laundry). Towards the end of its cleaning cycle, the monster would bounce across the floor edging its way into thew living room. Gertrude would bark loudly warning me of this dangerous machine approaching.
My family moved back to Virginia and my tiny Texan cowboy boots were placed on the shelf. It's a small part of my personal history but no less important than other parts. I have always had a little place in my heart for all things Texan. Tonight is no exception.....GO RANGERS!