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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

MEET THE FAMILY, PART 1: BUD

Bud at his college graduation

Bud & me a year or so ago

The lovely Bud in Paris (posing as a hooker)

(This post accidentally ran for several hours [incomplete & unedited] on 1/5/18.)

(For an earlier post on Bud, click here.


I met Bud & his friend Earl at a BBG/AZA (organizations for Jewish teenagers) dance when I was 15.  I started dating Earl & I fixed up Bud with one of my girlfriends.  He told her he was 21 (he was really just 18) & that he had been wounded in the service (he hadn't yet served) to impress her.  That relationship never really got off the ground & he asked me out.  He was very persuasive & I was very immature, so I accepted.  My parents thought he was much too old for me.  We became serious pretty quickly & he told me the truth.  We went to tell my mother & we had her sit down to listen.  We must have looked quite somber, because she thought we were going to tell her I was pregnant.  She was so relieved that that wasn't it (remember this was in 1960) that she probably would have accepted me dating Attila the Hun!!

We became officially engaged when I was 18.  Many mothers feel that no girl is good enough for their son.  Not so his mother.  We spent many nights at his folk’s house watching TV.  His mother would say, “You shouldn’t just sit around the house.  Why don’t you go to a movie--go bowling--get married?”  Do you remember hope chests?  She gave me a gift for my hope chest every month that we were engaged.  She gave me almost all of our sterling silver & I have service for 12.

Bud had been in ROTC in college, so he entered the Army as a 2nd lieutenant in the Finance Corps & was a 1st lieutenant by the time he was discharged.  We were engaged when he went in, but since the “Korean conflict” was very much “conflicting”, we decided to wait until he was a “short timer” (which means he didn’t have enough time until his discharge to be sent overseas) to get married.  We were married in February & he was discharged that September.

He was stationed at Ft. Ord, California, which is south of San Francisco & very near Monterey.  Since no enemy naval operations or fighter planes penetrated our defenses during his service, he takes at least part of the credit for keeping California safe for democracy.  We lived in a small, free standing house in nearby Seaside which was part of a court.  I worked on post as a dental assistant.  We would leave our home in sunny Seaside & drive to work every morning to find the sign that proclaimed “You are now entering Fort Ord” completely shrouded by fog.  I loved being there with him except when the payroll was in.  Then, not so much.  He was a very restless sleeper.  He would toss & turn & even argue in his sleep.  When the payroll was in he was required to sleep with a loaded .45 caliber weapon on the nightstand.  Those nights, I decided the better part of valor was to stay awake--& live!!

Speaking of the payroll, that was the time for the big monthly poker game.  Bud & some of the other Finance Corps officers & enlisted men would lock themselves in the vault & play poker (with the government’s money).  The buy-in for the game was $200,000.00 each, in cash!!  When someone had won all the money, they would put it back in the safe, go home & go to sleep.

Bud once got a 77 day temporary assignment to Fort Hunter Liggett, about 80 miles away.  It was VERY hot & humid & there was no air conditioning in their work area.  They referred to it as “basic training for hell”.  They paid rotating groups of reservists who were there for 15 day summer service.  The Finance Corps personnel had to work many 19 to 21 hour days in a row in those conditions.  The reservists had to be paid on Saturdays (by order of the colonel) &, at that time, banks were closed on Saturday so on Friday nights they had several hundred thousand dollars in cash in a 300 pound safe in their room.  Bud had a loaded .45 next to him & told his men he was going to catch a nap.  He told them to be sure to wake him when anyone went in or out of the door.  They didn’t have the heart to wake him when the outside guards came in to switch with the inside guards.  He woke with a start, had his weapon in hand & aimed at them before he realized what was happening.  He came within inches of killing someone.  After that, they woke him.

Bud had to write checks fairly often for the Finance Corps.  On one such occasion, he wrote a check for $500,000.00.  The Bank of America cashed it & sent it to the Federal Reserve Bank.  The Federal Reserve Bank cashed it & sent it to the Treasurer of the United States.  The Treasurer bounced it & sent it back.  It seems Bud had made a minor error—he forgot to sign it!!

It’s a good thing my husband is honest.  He had figured out a “foolproof” scheme for robbing the payroll.  You would just have to be on the roof of the Finance building with some firecrackers.  The colonel (who was a drinker) would be in the yard with a full clip in his .45.  The MP’s would be there with machine guns.  You light the firecrackers & throw them into the yard.  Everyone panics & shoots & kills one another.  You walk down; pick up the money & leave.

When he got out of the Army he enrolled in UCLA Law School.  He did very well there, even being ask to join Law Review, an organization for top students.  He declined, thinking it would take too much of his time.  He was working for an accountant while going to Law School.  He took the CPA exam & passed the first time but never got his certificate because they required you to work full time for an accountancy firm for two years.  He also passed the Bar Exam on his first try.

We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment & I worked as a dental assistant while Bud was in law school.  Our “dining room” table (in the living room—there was no dining room) was a small drop-leaf that my handy husband made from an old bedboard.  When fully opened, it seated 4.  We had a brown & white tweed sofa, which he sat on while he studied.  He spilled a bottle of ink on it (this was before ballpoint pens) & cleaned it with soap & water.  This left a clean spot in the middle of the sofa & made the rest of it look very dirty.  No way could we afford to have it cleaned, so we did the next best thing.  Each evening when we got home, we would wipe our shoes on the “clean spot” until it blended in & the whole sofa looked like new again.


Something like this:


The following cartoons are about husbands,
but not (necessarily) mine:














 




17 comments:

  1. That cradle robber! He'd never be elected Senator in Alabama. (OK, three years is not really very creepy, even at 15.)

    It seems to have worked out.

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    1. I'm not sure; we've only been married 62 years--we'll see how that works out!!

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  2. Who knew that service in the Finance Corps could be so dangerous? Not this ol' Val! Bud looks good in uniform. And in a striped hat, too. But I think you upstaged his mustache with your own!

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  3. Lovely to hear more about (and see more) of your family. Chuckling at Val's comment about the moustache though. She is right.

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    1. More of my family to come this week!!

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  4. I laughed so hard at Bud's exploits. If you would get engaged to my son, I'd give you a gift every month. But you'd have to give it to me first because I can't afford you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Why in heaven would I get married again?

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  5. Bud in his college years resembles the actor Kevin James. Unless I'm remembering the wrong name.
    I've never had sterling silver for twelve, but I did have stainless steel for twelve, which were three matching sets of four settings and three matching dinner sets as wedding gifts, so all up it was dinner for twelve that never got much use since it was just hubby and me for almost two years until the children started arriving.

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    1. Looking at the top picture, there IS a Kevin James quality to him!!

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  6. Thank you for introducing me to Bud. He sounds like an excellent man with a fine sense of humor. Appreciate the defense of democracy in California. I quite enjoy it.

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  7. Really enjoyed this broader view of Bud--especially after seeing him before naked and channeling Burt Reynolds. You two are really a matched and delightful pair.

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    1. How much of a broader view could you get than the picture in Paris?

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  8. The Burt Reynolds pose almost made me spit my coffee on my laptop. Just because it was unexpected...or if you posted it before I had totally forgotten. He looked as good as Burt, BTW.

    The high rollers on the government's money cracks me up. Fun to learn more about Bud and you--the early years. ;)

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    1. NEVER drink coffee while reading my posts!!

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  9. I know!! I certainly should know that by now! :)

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Your comments make my day, which shows you how boring my life has become.