Saturday, March 22, 2008

Newly Weds - Part One

Hazel and I dated about once a week until we set October 4th as our wedding date; later we picked Friday night October 7th. Hazel's parent's anniversary was November 2. We were married at the Reverend Wendall Davis’s house at seven p.m. Afterwards we went to Beaver’s Store, the place where all of our friends hung out. We had hotdogs for our wedding dinner and we spent the night at Albert and Pauline house. They left their house and spent the night with Pauline's parents. The newspaper reported their engagement, bridal shower, party, and wedding.

The next day we left on our honeymoon to Fayetteville NC. With fifteen dollars in my pocket and full tank of gas, we left to spend a day with Hazel's sister then back to our one room apartment we rented from Mr. and Mrs. Beaver across the highway from their store; we shared the kitchen and bath room with them. This is a picture of the Beaver house as it looks today which is about the same as when we stayed there.

After one month, Hazel and I moved to 3800 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte, NC – See aerial view of house - you will need to zoom in. Our apartment had a kitchen and a bedroom; we shared the bath and living room with the Mr. and Mrs. Amos Beaty. Construction was booming in Charlotte compared with Statesville. I got a job with Rob Mullis, a brick contractor, and was able to make $2.25 an hour laying brick. I met Rob’s twin brothers, Herman and Vernon, who were my age. I worked with them for several years and we become very good pals. Our families would go to Riverview Inn Fish Camp almost every weekend. Hazel and I ordered the pan trout for one dollar twenty-five cents and the kids ate free. For two dollars and fifty cents plus a twenty-five cent tip we could eat our fill of fish, hushpuppies, and fries! Listen to me tell this story.

Before we got married, Paulene and some the other people gave us a wedding shower. We received a lot of can food and staples, like pinto beans, rice, and pasta. We were given an electric iron, an iron frying pan, and an assortment of other pots and pans along with linens and many other things. We had all of that stuff in our one room that we had rented from the Beavers. On Monday when I was to go back to work we decided that Hazel to have supper ready when I got home at six p.m. and that she could cook some of those pinto beans because I sure liked them and liked a lot. Midmorning Hazel got out the small two pound bag of pintos, rinsed them well, and prepared to cook them. The two pound bag did not look like a lot of beans. She thought that since we both liked them so well that she had better cook the whole bag. She started cooking those beans in the largest pot we had so she would have plenty of room. When the bean swelled and the pot got full, she divided them into two pots. After a while she had four pots full and by the time I returned home she had every pot Listen to me tell this story.

After working with Rob Mullis for a while, one day I came up with the idea to go to Washington, DC; bricklayers were getting ten dollars an hour. After I arrived home that Friday evening, I ask Hazel if she would be willing for us to go there for me to work and she supported my decision to go. I had just bought a brand new green 1950 Chevrolet truck; I had traded my old Ford and got a loan for the additional nine hundred dollars it cost. I had twelve payments of a little less than ninety dollars a month. We ate supper, packed our bags, and early the next day we headed for Washington, DC. When we arrived we found a room to rent on 14th Street NW. On Sunday I went out and got a job working on a housing project making $10.50 an hour.

I went to work Monday morning at eight o'clock scared to death because I had never worked on such a big job. I worked hard and did my best to be best worker I could but the boss man kept looking at me. After my first hour on the job he motioned for me to come down. I did not know why but kept thinking I was going to get fired. He took me a little ways from the work area and told me that I was laying too many bricks and if I did not slow down he would have to let me go. He shared that I was working on a union job and the masons in Washington did not work as hard I was use to working back in North Carolina. He told me to get back up on the wall and lay a brick every time that the masons did on ether side of me, no more or no less. I found this boring since I had been used to laying up to two thousand a day back home. The union men would lay seven to eight hundred a day. I worked till Friday; after I received my pay for the week Hazel and I headed back home. I found myself in a traffic circle on my way out of Washington. I went around that darn thing about twenty times before I could figure how to get out of it to head back to Charlotte. I made more money working there in one week than I could in Charlotte working five weeks but I sure was glad to get out of that town with all of their traffic problems. Listen to me tell this story.

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