Blind Date Parade

The single mom’s friends and neighbors, all worried about the desolation of her life, began plotting blind date opportunities. All of these dates were at the urging of different people, with just the right plan for her life. However, each one turned out to be short-lived. They were all comical and scary at the same time.

Eventually, she found herself in a long-term relationship with an intelligent, fun, and capable young man. It was a romantic and meaningful relationship. He was a college student, in his twenties, and his most fervent desire was to become an aeronautical engineer. During this time of uncertainty, the relationship was like a breath of fresh air in the single mom’s life. His build was sturdy, he was tall, and he had the clearest blue eyes she had ever seen. It was as if you could see through his eyes into the gentleness of his personality. He had thin hair that was always buzz-cut, which was very attractive on him. His body language was sort of hip, but not to an extreme. He was cool, smart, considerate, fun, and responsible.

The two dated steadily for about a year and a half. He escorted the single mom to special occasions, such as weddings. The relationship was relaxed and kind. They had no fights or disagreements. They genuinely liked each other. The single mom loved him and wanted to be his wife someday. Furthermore, she was more than willing to wait for him to finish his education. They skirted the issue of marriage, but both knew in the back of their minds that it would happen someday.

This was in 1963, and the Vietnam War was starting to escalate. It was in November of 1963, that President Kennedy’s assassination had taken place. Both the single mom and her steady boyfriend stood in front of the television two days later, watching in horror, as replays of Jack Ruby shooting and killing Lee Harvey Oswald filled every television screen in America. There was unrest. The nation was under siege from within.

With the Vietnam War draft looming, the boyfriend made a decision to enlist in the United States Marine Corps to avoid the draft. He applied for Officer Candidate School and was accepted. He would train to be a helicopter pilot. As the time grew near for him to leave, the single mom became despondent. He had been so good for her. She tried to understand his commitment to the marines as well as any nineteen-year-old with three small children could, but dreaded the time when he would be gone.

To be continued …

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