Iona and Walter Jones

Photograph of Iona and Walter Jones taken about 1997.

Iona and Walter Jones about 1997.

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I met Polly at "Hall's Drive In" in Santa Ana, California, in June 1956. My friend, Hoss, wanted to talk to her friend, Joyce, so we sent them a cup of coffee. After we talked for a little while they invited us to join them in their car. I asked Polly her name and she said Iona. I asked, "don't you have a nickname or something besides Iona?"

"Yes", was the answer "my mother used to call me Polly." I said, "Then Polly it is." and for almost 47 years it was Polly. You know Joyce never did go out with Hoss. We met at Hall's a few more times before I asked her for a date. When she said "yes", she made my day.

Our first date was on July 4, 1956. We went to a drive-in movie. I don't remember the movie -- maybe because we were too busy necking. Everything was peaches and cream for awhile then the word "marriage" came up and I got scared. I went over a week without calling her or seeing her.

On the 2nd of September, I just had to call her, because it was our birthday. I did, but she was mad because I hadn't called and she hung up on me. I kept calling but she hung up on me every time. So I gave up and went to the Enlisted Club to cry in my beer. I stayed at the Club until it closed. Being kind of drunk I decided to go by her house. I knew she would be, up because she had to go get her mother from work. I knocked on the door and she answered but saw me and slammed the door.

I knew soon she would have to go pick-up her mother, so I went back to my car to wait for her. She came out and saw I had her car blocked. She told me to move and I said, "Happy Birthday" and she smiled and got in the car. Then she said, "Are you drunk?" and I said, "I think so". She got out and came to the driver's side and said, "Move over." My car was standard and she had never driven a standard, but after stalling a couple of times she got it going. By the time we got back to the house she had it down pretty good. Sometimes she would jerk it a little but didn't stall again. I got in the back seat and laid down, because she still wasn't speaking to me . I must have went to sleep, because when I sat up I scared her mother. She didn't know I was in the car.

When we got to the house she went inside and I heard her mother tell her "Why are you being so mean to Buddy. You know he loves you..." She came back outside with a blanket and got in the front seat. She gave me the blanket and told me she would wake me up in time to go work. I said, "Can't you stay for a few minutes?" and this time she said, "ok" and climbed over the seat. I asked her if she still wanted to go to Yuma and get married. At first she didn't say anything, but then she grabbed me and hugged me real tight and said "Yes". Then she told me that we needed to get some sleep. I said "OK" and went to sleep.

When she woke me up, I asked her if she wanted to go shopping for a ring that night. Of course that was a good idea. That night after chow I showered and went to her house. This time when I knocked, she came out and got in the car. She did ask me how my head was and I made a wise crack that didn't go over too well. It's a good thing the car was moving or I think she would have hit me. We went to Zale's and she found a set of rings -- two for her and one for me. (She wore them until she died. Mine I had to have it cut off when I cut my little finger and the ring finger swelled twice its size. Polly carried it in her purse for awhile, but someone stole her purse from in the house, so I don't know what became of it and my Presidential Service Badge that was in her purse too. I hope who ever took it enjoyed themselves. Polly and I always thought it was someone from the family because the dog didn't bark at the time it was done.)

I knew she was happy, because she sat close to me. Normally, she sat by the window. That was the only time in our whole life that she sat close while the car was moving unless someone else was in the front seat too. If we where parked some where in an orange grove or at the drive-in, she was next to me though. We went to Hall's and had a Coke and made our plans for Saturday. Needless to say, I was nervous for the rest of the week. I didn't get to see her again until Saturday, because she was working at night for the rest of the week.

I picked her up early Saturday. She was dressed up in a sheer white blouse and one of those poodle skirts. She looked so nice. We arrived at the Courthouse a little before noon. I told her it looked like its closed as I drove around the building again. Finally, she said "We will never know unless you stop this car so we can go in." She always had the right answer for everything. In my old age, I finally learned how to ask directions and her answer to that was, "Why did it take you so long to realize that?" As luck would have it the door opened as I pushed on it. "See", she said, "its still open." Then she asked the first person we saw where could we get married. The lady said, "Right this way" and took us to the judge. The lady took our names and birthdays and went to get the license. The judge rounded up a couple of people to be witnesses of the marriage ceremony. I was thinking, "Boy, you have done it now" as I was saying I do. That was the best thing I had done in my life up to that point. I have never regretted doing it.

On the way back we stopped to get gas and she asked me if she could drive. I said sure and away we went down Banning Pass, flying low. Her poodle skirt was flying too. I looked at how fast we were going and said, "Do you know we are going a hundred?" She laughed and said I have always wanted to go a hundred miles an hour. Then she slowed down some. Later in life, she denied that we were going that fast.

When We got back to her mother's, the first words out of her mother's mouth were "So you ran off and got married?" We had planned on keeping it a secret for awhile and me stay living in the barracks, but she told her mother "Yes". Her mother told me to go get my clothes tomorrow and move in. Her brother, Arnold, went to a friend's house and her mother went down town, so the honeymoon was in Polly's bedroom.

A week after we got married my friend Hoss stopped by on a Saturday to say good-bye. He was out of the Marines. Polly fixed us some breakfast and while we were eating he told us he was glad for us and wished us many years of happiness. Then he headed for Texas. I was thinking, I will never see him again.

After a few weeks, we decided to get an apartment. We had to buy dishes and pots and pans linens. So we started another charge account -- this time at Grant's. We had charge accounts up to some time right before I retired in 1996. We were so happy. Two kids in love and together most of the time, but our entertainment was going to visit her relatives because there wasn't much money. Marine Corps Sergeants didn't make much money, actually she made more then I did.

When we visited her Uncle Bus, her and Bus argued about everything. Sometimes I think it was just a game they played. When we visited her Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Eddie we played canasta and listened to Eddie tell about all the naked women he had seen since our last visit. All my life I have never seen a naked woman on the street or have one come to the door that way when I have knocked. I guess some men have all the luck. Her Aunt Lou and Uncle Jim were drunk just about everytime we went there, but he had beer all the time. Polly and her brother also argued all the time. At this point in his life he was a liberal and she was already in the right wing. I helped her a little with Dallas, but mostly I just listened to them.

My grandmother died but we didn't have the money to go back east for the services.

The only time we were apart at night was when I had Duty NCO until the base loaned us to the state of California to help with a forest fire. They loaded us on cattle cars and away we went to the other side of Los Angeles. They assigned five of us to a firefighter and a forest ranger was in charge of ten firefighters. The first day after we arrived we didn't do anything but sit around camp listening to the firefighters tell sea stories about past fires. Then about ten o'clock at night they called us out. We went up on this mountain and started cutting a fire break, but before we were finished they told us to go higher because we could never finish here in time. All night we cut bushes and small trees clearing a firebreak about twenty-five yards across. Someone brought us some sandwiches and water to drink -- we had a short break then back at it. We could see where we were then and, boy, I don't think I would have climbed this mountain in the daylight and here we had been working all night on it. Around mid-morning they sent back to the camp for rest and no one had any trouble going to sleep. They woke us up about four and said it was time to eat and go back on the line. Someone asked about a shower and the ranger laughed at him. On the fifth day they declared the fire contained and we loaded onto our cattlecars for the ride home.

Someone had called Polly and she was there to meet me. I went to hug her and she said, "Don't you dare touch me" she told me to look in the mirror. Boy, that was a dirty Marine looking back at me. When we got home, I went and filled the bathtub (we didn't have a shower), got in the tub and was washing when she came in. She had her robe on. I thought at first she was going to get in the tub with me, but she looked at the water and said there was no way she was getting in that nasty water. She started to leave when I asked her to wash my back. She made a face, but reached in the dirty water, got the wash cloth and scrubbed my back. Then she went in and got a pot filled it with clean water and poured it on my head then she took the shampoo to it. After rinsing my hair she rubbed her cheek on mine and yelled Yikes!" As she was leaving the bathroom she said, "If you want to kiss me you had better shave too. And clean the bath tub." I said, "You mean clean the tub now?" and she gave me a wicked smile and said, "No, that can wait, but you have to shave." Later she told me to go clean the tub and she would fix us some soup and a sandwich. That night I woke up in the middle of the night and I could see she wasn't in bed with me I waited, but she didn't come so I got up and she was asleep on the couch. I woke her and asked "Why are you in here? and she told me I was snoring so bad she couldn't sleep and she didn't want to wake me because she knew I was very tired to be snoring like that, but then she came back to bed and when I woke she was still there.

We were so happy but things were rough then we learned she was going to have our first child. That really scared the hell out of me -- "What me? A daddy?", but she was very happy about it and that was all that counted. She had morning sickness a few times, but it didn't last long.

I had it made at work all we did was mostly play horseshoes and cards. I had four E-7 Master Sergeants that I worked for and our officer-in-charge was a W4 who had been on Guadalcanal. All four of the Master Sergeants were old transport men from WW2 and this was their twilight cruise. One of them retired and another had to have an operation so I got to play cards then. We had two SNB5's and my job was to make sure they were ready to fly all the time. I had about ten guys working for me so it was easy. I made Staff Sergeant E-5 in May of 57 -- something I wasn't expecting. Normally it took about five years as a Sergeant to make Staff, but for some reason the cutting score was 115 and I had it. I sure wasn't ready for it, but where I was it didn't make any difference. So we had a little more money. No more Duty NCO for me either. No more junk on the bunks. No rifle inspections. Boy, I thought I had it made.

About five or six months after we were married, I saw some whole catfish at Red's Store and asked her if we got some of them, could you cook them? She said, "Yes". On Monday she was going to cook the catfish. When I came home, she put what looked to me like scrambled cornbread and some French fries on the table. I started to ask her where the catfish was, when she said "Aren't you going to eat that fish?" and told me how hard it was to get all the bones out of it before she cooked it. I ate the fish and told her it was good (actually it wasn't that bad), but she said that it wasn't to good to her and wanted to know what she had done wrong. I was kind of afraid to tell her, but I said most people cook little fish like this whole. She laughed and told me no wonder it was so hard to get all those bones out. Then I started to laugh too but she said "You can't laugh at my cooking you just have to eat it."

Her mother had bought a house and she knew Polly would have to take some time off work so she asked us if we wanted to come stay with her. When we moved in with her mother Polly worked a split shift, four hours in the morning and four hours (six to ten) at night. That was kind of lonely, but I got to know her mother pretty well then. Polly told the telephone company she would do this until she had to take off to have the baby, but when she came back it was either days or nights not both at the same time. We paid rent and paid half the grocery bill. Arnold and I put in a lawn (the reason I knew how was the job I had when I was going to school in Mahopac. The man I worked for put in lawns, built stone BBQ's and other odd jobs.) After the grass came up I took care of the yard and Polly cooked because her mother didn't like to cook. Polly didn't know how to cook that well back then, but it was edible. We did a good job on the lawn if I do say so. Since her mother had a new washer we didn't have to go to the laundramat . Her mother only had a solar powered dryer (clothesline) to dry the clothes. While living with her mother we were able to save a little money for our trip back East we were planning for her to meet my family.

Come September 16, 1957, Patricia Anne Jones was born. Oh, but she had good pair of lungs. The first mistake I made was one night the baby didn't want to go to sleep so I had a bright idea -- let's take her for a ride. Before we got around the block she was asleep. This went on for awhile and we decided to stop it, but the baby said no way and cried louder. So I told Polly, "Let's go" and she just smiled and said, "I thought we weren't going to do this any more?" I didn't say a word -- just smiled back as I went to the car.

Before you knew it, Polly was back to her normal weight of 110 pounds. She never gained that much weight with any of her babies. We had a little money we had saved to go to Santa Anita Race Track, so one Saturday Viola watched Patty and we went. We got to the last race and both of us had $2 left. I asked her who we were betting on this time and she said, "I'm betting on #8 Blue Rajah." His odds were forty-to-one, I didn't say nothing because we had been betting on my picks and most of them came in second, but we had bet to win so we lost. As the horses turned down the stretch I saw #8 was gaining on the front runners, as they passed the sixtieth pole he was almost even with the leader as they got closer to the wire he got his head in front and won by about a half a length. We were standing in line to cash the tickets and she wanted to cash them so I gave them to her . She cashed them then put the money in her purse and I said "How about my share?" She said the money was our money and she would take care of it -- that I would just spend it foolishly. She was probably right, but from that point on I knew she would take care of our money a lot better then I would. She gave me a small allowance and when we had a little extra we would go out to eat at this Mexican restaurant. She liked the Mexican food, but I had a steak.

Some little boys lived around there and one day they knocked on the door and asked Viola if I could go out and play. Polly told her mother to tell them ok. So I went out and tossed a football around with them. It was getting to be a daily thing and Polly wanted me to stay with her so she told the kids I was punished when she wanted me near her. As I have told you, she had an answer for everything.

One of the Master Sergeants asked me to help him coach his son's little league team. Polly said it was ok and she went to most of the games. I never wanted to coach another team after that, it wasn't the kids it was the parents. They were always on your back about their kid. I liked coaching the kids and they seemed to like to play for me. I think it was because I was very young and they could talk to me easier than Max.

There was an orange grove at the end of the block so if we wanted an orange I went there and picked a couple. I made orange juice for the baby but she didn't like it. I guess the stuff she got had sugar in it. Once after a big rain, I took Patty out and we were playing in a mud puddle. Polly caught us and grabbed her up to clean her up. Patty started crying as they were going in the house so she brought the baby back to me and said when you two are through playing in the mud you can give her a bath. That was the first time I ever gave a baby a bath, but not the last. It wasn't so hard to do. I never did give a really little one a bath -- I was afraid I would hurt them. I think Patty was nine or ten months old by then.

I don't know what month it was, but I think it was in January 1958 when we left for the East. We started about five o'clock in the afternoon, so we could cross the desert at night. We stopped for gas right before we got to Yuma. When you stepped out of the car something went crunch -- there were crickets everywhere. I never saw so many in my life. Now it was getting dark. As soon as it was really dark Patty started crying -- she didn't like the dark. When we would come to a town she would stop crying and smile, but as soon as we left town start again. So it was a miserable night as there were few towns in Arizona at that time.

When It starting getting light, Polly said she was ready for breakfast as we approached Deming, New Mexico. Big mouth Rose, who we were dropping off in Midland, Texas, said there wasn't much in this town and the next town was over the next hill and was much better. As we went over the next few hills Polly was getting hot at Rose. About an hour after he had said that, you could see the town and she gave him a dirty look and Rose never made any more suggestions. When we dropped him off at Midland she said, "Room at last." She drove some then while I slept.

The next morning we stopped in Shreveport for breakfast and they charged us a quarter to warm the baby bottle that really ticked her off so she asked me what kind of state do you live in that would charge her a quarter to warm a bottle. I said this is way up north not like the southern part of the state. The people are nicer down our way. We arrived at my Uncle Kermit's early the next morning. We had driven straight through without stopping to sleep. We were beat and the baby sure was so happy to get out of that car too.

That night Viola said that this was the darkest place she had ever seen. We were out in the sticks. After a couple of days we where on the road again at O'Dark thirty. We dropped Viola off at Lynchburg, Virginia, to catch a bus to West Virginia. Now there was only the two of us and the baby.

We hit the Penn Turnpike and it started to sleet and get colder. It was dark and our lights seemed to get dimmer. Then I saw that the Generator wasn't charging so I pulled to the shoulder to check it. Before I could get the hood up, somebody stopped to help. I saw that the generator was loose and the couple offered to take us to the next service area. So we grabbed the baby and a few diapers and a bottle and went with them. I told them I was going to see the road service guy and they took Polly in and bought her a cup of coffee. I didn't have enough money for him to take me back and fix the car. He told me to go tell Polly that the next time he had to go back the way the car was we would take care of it. When I came back outside he told me "Let's go -- some one has a flat past your car." He had me change the flat then took me to the car gave me a bolt and nut and loaned me tools to secure the generator. He held a flashlight for me then when I finished hooked the jumper cables to it. The car started right up and I drove back to the service area and he watched the car while I got Polly and the baby. We couldn't turn the heater on right away, but she got in the back seat with the baby and wrapped her up good and put a blanket around herself. I had my jacket on.

The next day we were at my mother's. She had left my stepfather and moved by Aunt Ned. Mama took the baby and told Polly and me to go lay down a little while. Polly didn't want to give up the baby at first. I just looked at her and then she came with me. I don't know about her, but I think I was asleep by the time my head hit the pillow. After we slept for awhile we cleaned up and all of us went up the hill to Aunt Ned's. I never saw two people bond so quick as Polly and my Aunt. They were true friends the moment they met right up until my aunt passed away.

After our visit there we went to West Virginia. Now it was my turn to meet her family. We stayed with her sister and her husband Charlie. I liked them. Just like Polly and my aunt, we bonded. Her mother was staying with her sister, Polly's Aunt Isabel. Polly kept telling Wanda and Charlie how pretty California was and that they should move out there. They said they would think about it and it was time to hit the road again . We had no trouble until we got to Midland and Rose wasn't where he should have been. We finally got him and we headed home. When we got to Corona, Polly said, "You had better stop for gas", but not me. I said, "We can make it." But we didn't quite make it and she was hot. I walked a little ways to a phone and called Arnold and he got a gallon of gas and brought it to us, but that wasn't the end of it. I got the silent treatment for awhile. I told her I was sorry and she forgave me. All the time we were married we never called the other one a bad name or said something to hurt the other. Not that we didn't have spats once in a while, but both of us would pout and one of would leave the room. After awhile I would go hug her and say "I'm sorry". Sometimes she would say it was her fault and that she was sorry too. By the time we went to bed it was always over.

In February I noticed that Polly was crying over little things, something she didn't do normally, I asked her if she was going to have another baby she said she thought so, but wasn't sure because she hadn't been to the doctor. The doctor said she was and this time we both were hoping for a boy. A few months later, Wanda and Charlie showed up with their two kids.They took Arnold's room. It was a little crowded. Wanda took over the cooking and the grocery money. Charlie got a job at the plant where Polly's uncle worked. It may have been crowded but we were happy all together. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles so Charlie and I went to see them. I had been a Dodger fan since I learned about baseball. Charlie bought a car, but I had to drive it home because he didn't know how to drive. I taught him and Polly taught Wanda. We went to the baseball games a couple times a month and then we would stop and get a few beers. One night after we got home Charlie got sick from the beer and threw up. We got the cold shoulder for a few days and was told to come straight home from the game. You wonder how we could afford to go to a major league baseball game? Well, back then it didn't cost too much to get in -- we paid either two dollars or two-fifty for a ticket and sometimes I would get tickets from special services on the base.

Wanda and Charlie bought a house across the street from her Uncle Bus who lived on the next street over. After Wanda and Charlie moved to their own house Noel Rose spent about every weekend with us. Rose and I went to Sears and we each bought a shotgun. More credit. Rose and I found a place to go quail hunting up close to Lake Elsinore. Polly and her mother loved to eat the quail. We found a duck pond close to the base. It was a pay to hunt place. We snuck in there once and each got off three shots and had a few ducks down. We were getting our ducks when this guy in a jeep caught us. He said, "Hand over the ducks and get the hell off the property and don't come back." We did as he said and when we got home my dear wife wanted to know where the ducks were so I told her the guy took them from us. One Saturday it was pouring rain and we decided to give the ducks another shot. So we went in again and fired three shots each, grabbed our ducks and got out of there. The rain must have hid the noise because no one came. We cleaned the ducks and put the feathers in the garbage disposal. Not too smart. That thing got stopped up from all the feathers. I took it apart and boy did it stink, but I managed to get the feathers out. I learned that not everything can go in those things. Polly's mother roasted the ducks and they were very good, but we never went back.

Dallas, Polly's brother got transferred by the gas company and he moved to Ojai. Today Ojai is for the well-to-do, but then it was just a small town. It was near Los Padres National Forest so we decided to go deer hunting there when the season opened. We all bought one of these Italian army rifles like the one used to shoot Kennedy. Oswald's must have been better than ours because ours didn't shoot too straight. One weekend we all went up to Dallas's we were gong to practice with our rifles. The three of us left Polly and Jenny at home because they didn't want to go in the woods. We had brought six quail for dinner and they said they would cook them while we were gone. When we got home, they were giggling at any thing. Dallas asked Jenny what they had had to drink and she said they drank his bottle of blackberry wine. I asked Polly if they had cooked the quail and she giggled some more and said "Yes." Dallas asked,"Then where is it? and both of them thought that was very funny. We just looked at each other as they kept giggling. Finally Jenny said that bird was sure good and she brought a few legs out and said, "We ate and this is all that was left" and both giggled some more . We had some bologna for supper.

One Saturday night we went to this night club with Wanda and Charlie, but they would not let Polly in because she didn't have her ID with her. So we drove back home and got it because she had to prove to that guy she was old enough to get in. We had a pretty nice time after that. We went to the San Diego zoo with them too one weekend. That was a zoo like I had never seen. The animals weren't in cages like they where in the zoos I had been too. They had big areas to roam made to look like their homes. Wanda asked Polly if we wanted to go to Las Vegas one weekend. First she said no because we didn't have the money. Wanda said they would pay for the gas,the rooms and the food and all we need was few dollars to gamble. So we went, as soon as we got there they all headed for the slot machines. I went to the crap table and was doing okay. I decided to bet $10 and if I won let it ride until I got a pile of money. I made a few passes and had over $100 on the table when she reached out and took the money. I didn't even know she was there until she did that. The guy running the table said, "Ma'am, you can't do that". She didn't say anything and gave me one of those looks and I told the guy, "Its ok -- she's my wife." She had left $2 on the table so I shot and threw snake eyes and I got another one of those looks as if she was saying "See? If I hadn't picked up the money it would be gone now." What could I say? Of course, now that became "our" money and was the last I seen of it until she went shopping for the new baby that was coming.

I had to leave her for a few days once, we had to take an aircraft to Litchfield Park, the graveyard for old Navy planes. From there we had to go to Pensacola to pick up another plane just out of overhaul. We caught an airliner from Tucson and went aboard carrying parachutes (on naval AC you had to have a parachute then). People sure looked at us kind of strange and Maxwell (he was a Joker) said, "We know something you don't." I think now a days after 911 they would have put him under the jail, but one of the pilots said he was just kidding. We had no trouble and was back home in a few days and the first thing she said was, "I missed you. Did you miss me as much?" Of course I said yes. One other time I had to leave I went to Luke AFB to fix one of our planes that was broke there. Max bought a case of beer and we drank it while we were working on the plane. We drank the whole case and not once did anyone have to go pee that was how hot it was there.

On September 18, 1958. Roberta Lee Jones was born -- another beautiful girl. Now I had three girls. I loved the babies, but Polly was always my favorite. We were going to name the baby Robert if it been a boy, but she had Robert in her name. Roberta liked to sleep unlike Patty. She slept late. At first it worried us, but the doctor said some just like to sleep more. We were very happy until the Marine Corps said "Its time to go overseas, Marine." I didn't know what to do. We talked about it and decided to call my mother and see if she would come live with Polly while I was gone and watch the babies. Before we left to get mama we rented this house out in the sticks. Yes, they still had farm land in Orange County. They had a big strawberry field right by the house our landlord owned the field and he said we could have some berries for our own use but don't go giving berries to our friends and relatives.

In January Rose and I set out to get mama. We didn't get out of California before the car broke. We were in Needles, California. The car coasted to this garage. When we talked to the owner and said we didn't have much money he told us we could sleep in the shop and he would fix the car but I would have to pay for the parts and we would have to help him until we got the part. Of course we agreed -- there was nothing else to do. He closed the shop at noon on Sunday and invited us to his house for dinner and to watch the NFL championship game between the Colts and Giants. That was the first ever overtime pro football game which the Colts won. It is still known as the game that made pro football what it is today. While I was in California, I watched the LA Rams play and was a Ram fan, but they weren't that good. Anyway, we got the part, he fixed the car and we paid for the part then shook his hand and said, "Thank you very much." He said, "You boys earned it. You made money for me while you where here." We got mama and on the way back the car threw a rod in Eloy, Arizona. I had this guy tow it to his shop to fix and I told him I would have to save the money to come get it he said ok just keep him posted. We caught the Greyhound home.

Right off we got in trouble with mama we were setting at the kitchen table talking and giving Patty a bottle just like we always did, but my mama was in the living room and she said we were ignoring her. We explained to her that we did that every night after supper and she was welcome to join us and she was satisfied. I was picking at Polly one night just playing when Polly went to the bath room Mama said, "Why are you so mean to that girl? You know she adores you." All the time we were together, her mother took my side and my mother took her side, you tell me why. In March I called the guy and told me I was coming for the car. May came and I checked out of LTA and went to El Toro to catch my flight to Japan. I went to El Toro day after day not knowing if I was going home or not. That was very hard on us not knowing and the Marine Corps changed the way they were doing it. I still had to go to El Toro everyday, but I knew I was going home when they secured us. Then one day they gave me a date I was leaving and Polly took me that day and we said our goodbyes. Fifteen months seemed like forever to us. I was on the iron bird headed to Japan. We stopped in Hawaii for fuel and they told some of us we had to help these Army dependents with their kids. Boy, that was rubbing salt into the wound. Here they could bring their wife and kids, but we Marines could not. The next stop was Wake island . I couldn't believe these places we were stopping at. I was a history nut and remembered reading about the battles for these islands. After Wake it was Midway then Guam and finally Japan. Now Polly would find out what a Marine wife would have to do, but she was lucky she had my mother and her mother wasn't far away so it wasn't too bad on her. She had plenty of help, but later in life there was only her to do everything.

Written by Walter Singleman Jones in Kenner, Louisiana, 2003