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I Believe God Put Us Together – 3

April 23, 2013

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Memory Harvest of a Sharecropper’s Son,” which is now available in Amazon Kindle format and in printed format. This story is more about my late wife.

I could not stand being away from Billie, but the company and government did not support families downrange. I found us a one-room camping trailer with a two-room cabana added on, located on the beach only 100 yards from the high tide mark. We had to live with kerosene lamps, a hand-pump for water and an outhouse. Of course, Billie had lived that way growing up as I had also. She did learn to meet strangers because I was working such odd hours tracking missiles.

I took her home to Oklahoma to have our third child and brought her and the children back a few months later. Before any of the children were old enough for school, I transferred to an uprange job as a technical writer. We moved into Florida near Cape Canaveral.

I began traveling to various downrange sites periodically as a technical writer. I was traveling almost 50-percent of the time. Billie had to learn how to do all of the grocery shopping and take care of everything by herself, which she did very proficiently.

Billie was very athletic. We took up bowling and both of us became coach/instructors in the junior bowling program. We were also active in the Scouting programs and Little League baseball. We continued actively working with children in various activities for many years.

We had our fourth child while in Florida. We had three sons and a daughter by the time Billie was 25 and I was 28.

RCA moved us to Goddard Space Flight Center, near Washington, DC. I left RCA after one year on that job. I worked more than 12 years for RCA on various contracts around the country.

We then moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where I took a job with LTV, the airplane manufacturer in Grand Prairie. The moving van burned on the way to Dallas and totaled us out. We had to start all over again. By this time, Billie had adapted and took everything in stride. She began shopping for a place to live and garage sales to outfit our place until the insurance settlement. She had really come a long way from the shy, sharecroppers’ daughter I married.

I continued traveling for business quite often while at LTV and Billie had to take care of everything herself. She became a very independent person and could handle almost anything that came up. After 11 years at LTV, I quit and began contracting my services as a technical writer. The 12 years I had worked for RCA had been on various government contracts. Billie liked it better when I contracted because she said I did not bring my job home. I contracted most of the time until I retired.

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