Monday, May 22, 2017

EIGHTEEN & FEARLESS

May 22, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

A few days ago, I told Tam about an "adventure" I had when I was 18 and "fearless".  She suggested I write a blog about it.  Since I wrote a daily column for Dalton's Daily Citizen editorial page for 10 years and have been blogging for several years, I've probably written about it.  But, I'll write a short version today for those who hadn't read it.  I'm omitting names and locations to protect the innocent.
I was working in a city near my home and rode a bus to work on Mondays and back home on Saturdays.  I lived in a girls residence Monday through Friday.  I took my dirty laundry home to do on weekends.
One summer Saturday, the bus was crowded and I had to stand up.  A "nice" older lady offered to hold my laundry bundle.  After awhile I noticed the lady and my laundry was missing.  I asked the bus driver where she got off.  It was a few miles back.  I got off the bus and wearing heels, I walked to the road the woman had gotten off at.  I marched down that dirt road as mad as an old wet hen.  Finally, I came to an old house that had seen better days.  The dirt yard was a mess.  Chickens, dogs, cats, and I seem to recall a goat and several small children moving about the yard.  I marched right up to the door and pounded on it.  The lady came to the door.  I told her she forgot to give me my laundry.  She said she just noticed it.  She gave it to me and I started walking back toward my hometown.
I think God intervened that day.  A young man I knew stopped and offered me a ride to a nearby service station.  I called my daddy who came to take me home.  It took the entire weekend for me to rest enough to go back to work on Monday.  I've never forgotten that adventure.
See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

MORE MEMORIES

May 19, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I was thinking this week what it would have been like if my late husband, Ralph, hadn't bought a used Oldsmobile 88 with an automatic transmission in 1953.  No matter how I tried, I couldn't drive a car with a straight shift.

I loved that car.  It gave me freedom.  I recently wrote a blog about our little doll house in a rural area.  Before we got the Oldsmobile 88 and I started driving, I had to ride a shuttle bus home from my job.  Ralph worked as a TV repairman and drove the company truck.  He worked all day on Saturday.  So, I would sleep late and after drinking coffee with toast, I did some cleaning and then took a shower, and got all "dolled up" and drove to downtown Dalton which was were most of my friends were strolling on the sidewalks.  We would stop and chat.  This was before there were shopping centers.

A few thoughts of how that Oldsmobile 88 changed my life.  Our house was located about a half of a mile off of the highway on an unpaved road.  I had to walk on that road when I returned home in the evening.  In those days women who worked in offices wore dresses and heels.  So, I ruined several pairs of shoes walking on that muddy road after bad weather.

Then, a few years later, Ralph, on impulse during his lunch break one day, bought a brand new 1957 Chevrolet which became a classic.  But, that is another story.

I am feeling a bit under the weather today, I would appreciate your prayers.  See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Monday, May 15, 2017

THOSE WERE THE DAYS

May 15, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I've written previously about how hard my late husband, Ralph, worked in our yard when we moved here to achieve his dream on how he thought it should look.  This week Barry said he believed that Ralph's dream had finally come true.  Our yard is beautiful.

It's true that just a whiff of memory can send your thoughts back to another time and place.  Since Ralph and I had been married 12 years before Barry was born, there's a whole chunk of living we did in those 12 years.

After we married in 1947, we lived in a series of apartments.  Then, one day we had an opportunity to buy some land in a rural area.  A small gristmill was located on the property.  We hired a building contractor to convert the mill into a small house which eventually became known as our "doll house".

I had studied decorating magazines since I married and I told the contractor what I wanted.  As a result the house consisted of a small red and white kitchen.  A window separated the kitchen and small dining area.  The largest room was the living room which had beautiful hardwood floors and a picture window which had chartreuse draperies.  The sofa was covered in a dark green leather.  There was also a yellow leather chair and a small red leather chair.  A large red chenille throw rug was placed in front of the sofa.  A bedroom with corner windows and a small bathroom completed the interior.  A large back porch was added a few years later.

Following World War II the government offered a training program for veterans.  Ralph being a veteran enrolled in a program to learn to repair televisions and did that for many years.  We bought our first TV in that little house.  In those days the picture would sometimes "roll" and be "snowy", but we saw some really good programs in those days.  We also had our first automatic washing machine installed in that little house.  I have so many memories of those days.

Later, we made new memories in Florida and best of all, our only child, Barry, was born, changing our lives forever.  Ah, those were the days....

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Monday, May 08, 2017

PRECIOUS FRIENDS

May 8, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

I had planned to write a short blog on Sunday afternoon.  Here it is Sunday, so I'm going to give it a try even though I'm feeling pretty tired.

Last Friday, Tam's daughter, Carrie, a beautiful hairdresser, came to our house and gave me a pretty, and much needed haircut.  Barry posted a picture of me that night which got a lot of response.  Thank you for your kindness.  I thought the haircut was great but in the picture I thought I looked tired and sleepy.

Friday was a very busy day.  Carrie started out with my haircut, then the bath nurse, Connie, helped me with a shower and shampoo.  Then Carrie dried and styled my hair.  Carrie has cut my hair for several years and I'm pleased with it.  She has always done an exceptional job.  She has a shop in Dalton.

Barry and I think we are fortunate to have my caregiver, Tam, and friends, Larry and Kym.  Kym stayed with me while Barry drove to Dalton's Western Sizzlin for Sunday lunch.  Kym and I had a nice chat while Barry was gone.  Larry stays with me on Saturday while Barry goes to the grocery store.  Good friends are so precious.

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

OLD TIME STORIES

May 2, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

Barry and I have had a quiet weekend at home.  I haven't felt the best but hope tomorrow will be better.
My late husband, Ralph, was one of the best men I've ever known.  He wasn't perfect.  For instance, he was quite a cusser.  When he knew he was dying, he would often cry and say he was worried about "Little Barry."  I assured him Barry would be fine.  Ralph would be proud of the man Barry has become.  This past weekend, I didn't feel well, and he lovingly took care of me.
Our good friend, Larry, likes to hear my stories about "old times."  I remember after the GI's came home following World War II that guys and my girlfriends would gather at our house about an hour before church started on Sunday nights.  We didn't have much money but could afford cheese sandwiches.  My mother would make a large platter of sandwiches and two pitcher's of ice water.  We used to say the large crowds must have come for the "company", not the food.
There were two restaurants where people who worked or lived in Dalton ate lunch.  The U. S. Cafe and Oakwood.  Both were on Main Street.  The last I heard there is still an Oakwood in Dalton.
I remember when the Wink Theater in Dalton was new.  It was the place you and your date went to at least once a week.  Two or three, first rate movies were shown weekdays and a western on Saturday.  It was closed on Sunday.
The place where young people "hung out" was at the "Snack Bar" in the building next to the Wink.  There was a juke box and booths and I believe stools.  Most people "table hopped".  If you didn't have a date when you went in, a guy would usually walk or drive you home.
In those days some church's believed it was a terrible sin to go to a movie.  I think it's ironic that the Wink building is now owned by a church.
I also found it amusing that some of those preachers who disapproved of the movies were the most ardent TV fans.  In fact, after Ralph and I got a TV our pastor came to our house several times to "watch a little TV".  I worked at a job and had chores to do at night and he aggravated me.  I think he finally got him a TV.
See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

1947 WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

April 26, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

If my late husband, Ralph, was still alive we would be celebrating our 70th wedding anniversary May 1st.  My thoughts this week have lingered on that time.
The year was 1946 when Ralph and I met.  The Big War (World War II) was over and the veterans were returning in droves to the delight of we single girls.
Let me give you a bit of background.  At that time in Dalton, Georgia there was a beautiful small Methodist Church which is no longer there.  Ralph's dad was a Methodist preacher and was the pastor of that church.  The parsonage was next door.  My family lived a couple houses down the street.  Cars were still hard to get so we walked everywhere.
My mother and I had walked to town on a Saturday afternoon.  As we approached the parsonage, Ralph, who had just returned from the Pacific where he had spent the war maintaining radar, was sitting on the porch with his sister, Agnes.  She introduced him to us.
I remember I was wearing a red coat and matching hat.  I was an innocent teenager.  I was a tiny girl and people told me I was pretty.  But, I longed to look like movie star, curvy, Betty Grable.
Ralph told me he fell in love with me that day.  He was six years older than me.  About an hour after we returned home, Ralph called and asked me for a date.  I already had a date but being the silly, immature girl that I was, I told him I couldn't go out as I had to wash my hair.  Shortly, Ralph was on his porch and saw me leave with a fellow in his car.  He never let me forget that!
Another memory of walking everywhere during and for awhile after the war was when the weather was bad we would call a cab which would take you anywhere for fifteen cents.
We both continued dating other people for awhile.  Then we started going steady.  I was working in an office in Chattanooga and living in a girls residence.  Ralph started coming up there to pick me up for dates.  At that time big name bands would play at the Memorial Auditorium and there would be dances.  One weekend we had tickets to see Gene Krupa, a drummer.  On the way there, Ralph parked behind the old Fort on highway 41 and asked me to marry him.  He was pretty sure of the answer as he slipped an engagement ring on my finger.  We told our friends at the dance.  The next morning people were calling me nonstop.
On May 1st, 1947, Ralph and I were married in the little Methodist Chapel.  Ralph's dad performed the ceremony.  My daddy gave me away and said a prayer.  Our siblings were all part of the ceremony.  The church was overflowing with friends and relatives.
Ralph's dad had a brand new Chevrolet which we borrowed and drove to Atlanta for our honeymoon.  Yes, I think 1947 was a very good year.
See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)

Friday, April 21, 2017

PRAYERS PLEASE

April 21, 2017

By Olivene Godfrey

Wednesday, April 19th.  I want to tell you about my latest health problem and ask for your prayers.  I have lost a lot of weight and we're not having much luck stopping it.  I have been eating better lately.  Barry and Tam are serving me delicious tasting, calorie loaded foods and I'm eating it all.  I can't afford to lose any more.

On Easter our good friend, Larry, and his sweet wife, Tara, came for a visit and brought us some food.  Barry and I agree that we can always depend on Larry to sit with me while Barry goes to the grocery store.  Another friend we can depend on is Kym.

Several years ago Tam gave me a knock out rose bush as a gift.  This year it's loaded with blooms.  Tam cut some for a bouquet that I'm enjoying in my room.

Thursday, April 20th.  GOOD NEWS!  Tam weighed me this morning.  God is good!  I have gained seven pounds!

See you next time.  Comments welcome.  (Edited and typed by Tam.)