Moving to Kennewick in May 1945, Dad, who has been driving LEE and ESTES truck and trailer rigs between Seattle and Portland, Oregon for many years, receives a promotion to establish a new Truck Terminal in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick - Pasco - Richland, Washington). There being no appropriate building available, the first few months of operation are in an open field on Avenue C, on the Kennewick banks of the Columbia River...trucks are backed together, with freight moving from truck to truck. It is here, at 11 years old that I am allowed to drive trucks...backing them together - but not yet on the roadway.
Mother obtains a job at "Big Pasco", a materials handling facility across the Columbia River in Pasco, Washington. Big Pasco, being a military (Army) Supply Depot, has for some years been used as a Prisoner of War (Prison)Facility for Italian soldiers captured during World War II. Prisoners are often seen walking the streets of Pasco, having been accepted as being no threat to the community.
My life to age 16, has been void of ANY show of affection...i.e., I always think of Mother as being a "closet" person. It is a great shock, therefore, that when walking into her Big Pasco office, I find a life-size poster of Marilyn Monroe in her famous nude pose hanging behind Mother's desk.
Not surprising that Joanie and I continue the "closet" scenario.
As winter approaches, Jean (not daughter Joan) invites me to move into their spare bedroom on 45th North in Seattle...much easier, Jean says, to drive to Paine AFB in the snow. Whidbey Island has become a bit boring, so I agree to move in...
Joanie and I still avoid each other as much as possible... until:
Jean, Ole, and 'lil brother are out someplace. Joan and I are home alone...still very much disinterested in each other... when: I walk out of my bedroom door into the hallway... just as Joanie walks out of the bathroom with a bath towel around her...just as the front door opens...; in walks Jean. All right, says she... what are you two up to...
... caught in a innocent compromising position, Jean adds 2 and 2 and comes up with 10,000,000....you two are going to be married immediately !!!
...I already told Jean I had no interest in her daughter...but, would marry her (Jean) in a heartbeat...
On the evening of April 14, 1956, Joanie and I - at Reverend Kimball's command "You may kiss the bride" - have our first kiss ever...in front of 500 invited guests in the University Congregational Church.
The NORSELANDER - Sons of Norway - building is reserved for our reception...complete with 16-piece orchestra, 32 CASES of liquors, huge bowls of Champagne and Norwegian delicacies filling many tables... and a Scandinavian Whos Who...and I still don't drink !!!
Among Joanie's relatives present are next door neighbor to Bill Boeing; a personal friend of President Dwight D. Eisenhower; a cousin of Thor Hyerdahl (Kon Tiki)...
Joanie has listed her "preferences" with The Bon Marche in Seattle, which keeps track of choices remaining as purchases are ticked off.
It takes all Joanie's Brides Maids and Mother(s) to open and display the hundreds of gifts. Included are:
- 16 place settings each of:
china and everyday table service
every possible size of crystal glasses, and goblets;
sterling - ROSE POINT - silver and flatware service;
- Numerous sterling silver serving dishes;
- Every possible size and type of stainless pots and pans;
- Electrical appliances, including six mix masters.
- Linens to equip a mansion.
- and, a number of envelopes with personal checks.
Me...I am oblivious to the events going on around me...still stunned at being here at all...
A shotgun wedding if ever there was one !
Joanie and I drive to Whidbey Island, where I take her salmon fishing .
Jean, Joan's mother, is irate...how dare you spend your honeymoon at the Maynard's !!
We find a small apartment on Ravenna Boulevard near Green Lake, where after two weeks, we finally get around to consummating our marriage. I buy two huge pickle barrels, clean them out thoroughly, and pack china, crystal, and sterling gifts inside..., leaving them at Jean and Ole's for storage...
Never again do I see our wedding gifts.
A few days later, walking to Green Lake, I am surprised to see Carol walking toward me. Carol...what are you doing here...Oh, Bruce...do you live around here? Yes...pointing to our apartment building...Well, Bruce and I live just across the street...pointing directly across from our apartment...we are neighbors again...
While at Hamilton Air Force Base two years ago, we four (B.B., Carol, Dolores and I) spent weekends together at Stinson Beach near the Golden Gate Bridge. Carol, a WAF (Womans Air Force), moved to Chicago.
B.B. and I are once again sharing our lives...first in High School; then, in Korea; then, at Hamilton AFB, California; and now, in Seattle...
...with many more such meetings in our future.
In June 1956, I am discharged from the Air Force.
At the same time, Little Brother Jim graduates from Kennewick High School, about to enter University of Washington in September.