When SWMBO moved to Jacksonville for her new job, she had managed to get an apartment right around the corner from Mickey. That big tree is the same one as in the next picture from nearly the same angle but further away (and it wasn't nearly as big in 1970!).
Well, as I've been saying, I came home from work one day, and as was my habit, I stepped out on to the balcony, from which I had this view of the pool (the pool was removed several years ago, but recently they've been working on the area—perhaps for a volleyball court). I saw a strange (as in heretofore unknown) woman sitting on the balcony across the way.
Naturally, the wise course seemed to be A) get a closer look, and 2) make her acquaintance. So I did. We hit it off right away. She's the nicest person you would ever want to meet. Everyone likes her. So I suppose it wasn't so special that she'd meet someone who liked her, but things clicked. We talked and talked—I even wrote her a poem, which she says she still has. If I can get ahold of it I may put it on this page. My guess is it won't have stood the test of time.
She was supposed to have a date in the early evening, but by the time that rolled around, we only had eyes for each other (and stomachs for food, for which we had already made plans), and when her date knocked on the door, we huddled in the dark until he went away. It was a horrible thing to have done, but if he were to read about how we turned out, perhaps he'd understand. By the way, those plans were for dinner at a nearby steak house, and included Mickey, since she had a part in the whole thing.
Five months later we were married a few blocks away at the Glynlea United Methodist Church (que horrible—SWMBO's a Catholic!)
We lived in that tiny one bedroom apartment for several months until about January, 1971, when we moved into Baymeadows on the far South side of Jacksonville. At the time it was very rural—the only thing on Baymeadows Road was a BP station. It's still there, but there has been so much development—restaurants, strip malls, banks, etc.—the road is unrecognizable.
The apartment was in a really upscale complex at the time—less so now, unfortunately. This was a two bedroom, two bath apartment, with a washer and dryer in the kitchen. There was a dressing area and a large walk-in closet in the master suite. The bedroom was also large. Wait'll you see the pool.
This pool is 250' long. It still amazes us. We've told people about it for years, but I don't think anyone believed us. I'm glad I got this picture. It was taken from point A in the amazing satellite photo below, which should dispel any notion that, however incomprehensible the concept of a 250' long pool may be, it really is.
Of course the most amazing thing is that our daughter—born, raised, and schooled in Illinois, and after her own odyssey which includes stints in St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Daytona Beach, and Charlotte—wound up buying a house less than two miles from this apartment (and her odyssey has now taken her back to Atlanta).
After having lived at Baymeadows for about ten months, assorted factors (including my 44 mile solo commute) convinced us to buy a house. This is a current picture. We've met the owner and are told that it was expanded at some point from four bedrooms to six! He bought it two years ago from the guy we sold it to in 1973.
Alas, we only had this house for about 14 months when I got my transfer to O'Hare and we moved to Illinois for the next 26 years. Although SWMBO felt a little cheated at only three years of Florida after all of the snow and cold in her previous life, I had already had eighteen years of Florida and hadn't cared for it much. Besides, I had professional challenges I needed to take up.
We had a good life in Illinois and any illusions either of us have of ever living back in the northern climes have been pretty well settled. The last
This is where it began for us, and this is where we plan for it to end (Florida—we're not moving to Jacksonville—70 miles is close enough). Of course there are no absolutes in life except the final one, but we are both convinced it'll be just fine for that to happen here. Thanks for coming on the Where-It-All-Began Tour
Last updated: 28 August 2011