SCHOOL’S OVER By: Frances M. McCrory-Meservy Feb 1966

Al was supposed to be in school for a year. He was put in the accelerated classes and graduated in February at the top of his class. The Navy assigned him to Destroyer duty in Norfolk, VA. The ship, USS John King DDG, would be leaving for the Caribbean upon Al’s arrival. Al decided he would feel better about my care and safety if I went home to Buna and stayed with Mom.

We loaded everything we owned in our new used car and left for Buna. It was dark by the time we got to the mountains. We started seeing signs that read "beware of falling rocks." I would ask, "We’re in the mountains aren’t we?" He would answer, "No we’re not." Halfway through, the oil light came on in the car. Al pulled over, put oil in the car and threw the cans off the road. We never heard them hit. I said, "we are in the mountains!" Al still insisted we were not. We both laughed.

When we stopped for gas just south of the mountains, the attendant was incredulous that we drove through the mountains at night. The roads back then were narrow and winding with only a small shoulder.

When we left Chicago, it was –10 degrees. When we arrived in Buna, it was 36 degrees. We were too hot and Mom had to give us a fan to sleep. My brother, John, arrived the same day from Hawaii. His swimsuit was still wet in his suitcase. He had gone from 75 degrees to 36 degrees. He was freezing and she put a heater in his room.

Al and John were both on 30 days leave. We had a wonderful time with family and Al finally felt connected to mine. He really loved my family and finally felt like he had one.

We had been married eight months and were together seven months before Al shipped out the first time. We were broke all the time but life was good and we fell deeper in love.

Psa 18:36 You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.

Background portrait Al's graduation class "ETA School" North Chicago Illinois Feb 1965 - Al is top right.

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