From The Storyteller
May 21, 2018, Big Date
On May 24th 1967 the Air Force accepted my offer to volunteer my services. The actual job description I volunteered for was fairly vague, something about war and other duties as assigned. This opportunity included paid training and free medical, so with right hand raised I entered into military service. Shortly afterwards I discovered the term “paid training” should have also included the words “not very much.”
Ultimately this paid training took me to Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls. Since married men could live off-base, when my wife arrived a few days later we took up residence in two rooms rented to us by a widow. During the day I would do my Air Force training, and at 5:00 go “home” and pretend to be a civilian. This basically meant taking off the uniform, putting on jeans and a T-shirt, eating dinner, and going for a walk.
The “not very much pay” thing had a huge influence on our activities. When you have no money it is very easy to not spend any. When the amount is “little,” spending “little” is also easy.In Wichita Falls the 7/11 was only two short blocks for our rented rooms, so a “no cost” walk in the cool of the evening fit well within our budget. At the time Popsicle's cost 7 cents and could be split in two. That’s it – a walk and a shared orange Popsicle.
Today I hear people defining a “big date” by the amount of money spent. I confess, to me, money spent is never the test. A “big date” always depends on who you are with. Elaine and I have them often.
Moral: A walk with the right person is always a “big date”.