BOOK OF DOUGLAS

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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

I retired in 2005 after dealing blackjack and roulette in Las Vegas casinos for almost 20 years. I have one daughter and one grand-daughter who introduced me to altered art after my retirement. I was born in Iowa and grew up on a farm. I began the Memoirs of a Wildrose blog in the form of letters to my daughter to share information with her about family heirlooms and family history, plus remembrances of today, yesterday and yesteryear ! "Book of Douglas" blog is the story of my late husband, his life as I knew him, and our journey through life together. Ginny's Art blog was created to provide myself a record of my artsy creations.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coast to Coast


We were on the island of Okinawa for a little more than a year -- living in a foreign land was an unforgettable experience, but, we were happy to be back in the USA !!  Douglas spent a few months traveling from one place and another within the states, spending anywhere from a week to a month at the different military bases the company served.  I spent those months based at my parents big farm home in Iowa.  There was always work of some sort to be done on the farm, so, as Mom put it -- I "earned my keep" !!  Whenever Douglas would be somewhere more than two weeks, I would travel and be with him.  Then came the day the company sent him to San Jose, California  --  it was to be for a year, but, ended up being only six months.  The ninety acre flea market there was one of our favorite hangouts.  The next thing we knew, the company wanted him in Manchester, New Hampshire, so, away we went -- the long drive across the U.S.   We found a furnished duplex to rent -- a short walk through the woods took you to a fishing pond.  It was perfect !  We could sit at our dining room table and watch the family of groundhogs watching us. Our home became the gathering place for the group Doug worked with, along with their wives and girlfriends.  Maine lobster cookouts were a regular thing.   We were the "dog sitters" when anyone traveled.  The fall was the most colorful we ever experienced anywhere.   Antique shops were plentiful and fun.  A day trip to Boston was an adventure.  I look back at this time and place in our life with many fond memories.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Job, New Adventure

Douglas, always with sand in his shoes, it seemed, took a new job in 1981 with a government contract company called Beech Aerospace, Inc.  Beech airplanes, leased to the government, needed mechanics to keep them running.  His first assignment was on the island of Okinawa -- He went ahead of me while I got furniture and belongings packed, moved and stored.  We were leaving our beautiful home in Tulsa to be rented while we moved around the next few years -- we would be renting furnished places as we would not be long in one place most of the time.  This first small home reminded me of the Dairy Queen structure that we used to go to for ice cream as teenagers !!  The neighbors had a dog, Ozzie, that came to visit us every day while his people were at work.   Our favorite place to eat out was called Sam's By the Sea -- Douglas is pictured by their sign post that sited various mileages to far away places. 

While we were on Okinawa, Tammy, Bob and Hilery were in Iwakuni, Japan -- we were able to visit back and forth and that Christmas of  '81,  had one of our few "family Christmas's" together.  The weather was always warm and a walk on Moon Beach was perfect entertainment for Hilery. 

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tulsa Homes

Tulsa, Oklahoma was home for 18 years.  We started out living in rented houses and finally purchased our first home about 1965-66.  11422 East 4th Place shown in the upper right hand corner of these pages.  Life happened here --  the next door neighbor boys were mean to our dog, Ringo, other neighbor boys were fascinated with the race car building in the garage.  I found a fabulous white Christmas tree with all white and gold decorations that would be put up every year for the next 13 years.  I had gone to "beauty school" and was now working in a salon styling hair,  Douglas went to work keeping airplanes in good working order and Tammy went to grade school, graduated high school, got married and moved to Wichita while we lived here.  I got "the bug" for a larger home in the early 80's - 5711 South Indianapolis -- perfect street address !!  Douglas was no longer racing but always talked of going to the Indy 500 -- one of the things on his "bucket list" that never came to pass, regretfully.  This house was perfect when families came to visit -- the back yard and patio made for a great outdoor room.   We wouldn't live here long, but,  good times were enjoyed here in those few years !!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Still In A Uniform

After Douglas mustered out of the U.S. Navy, we settled "back home" in Iowa for about a year.  I didn't find my photo of where we lived until after doing these pages, so that will appear later in these pages along with the story of that year.  He wasn't satisfied with not being able to work on airplanes, so, furniture was stored and we were off to Tulsa, Oklahoma for him to further his education in that field by attending Spartan School of Aeronautics.  We rented a mobile home in the first few months while he went to classes and worked part time for a motorcycle escort service.  That was right up his alley as he had a small motorcycle as a teenager and always loved riding.  Riding the Harley, escorting motorcades for funerals and dignitaries excited him.  After finishing his courses, he was hired on at a company called North American -- back to doing what he did best -- being a hydraulics mechanic -- keeping those airplanes in good condition !!  I had gone to work as a waitress to help supplement our income.  I had no idea I would be in the work force in some way for many years to come --  up to this point, I had only been a wife and mother.  Finances were better, so the family brought our furniture from Iowa to our newly rented home.  Tammy was going to be starting kindergarten and the school was within walking distance -- I look back on those days and think about how much we trusted neighbors and the neighborhood -- Now, I would never think of letting a five year old walk alone or even with buddies those few blocks to and from school and then, when she was older, allowing her to walk a couple of blocks up the street to a strip mall !!!  What could we have been thinking ??  Anyway, life was being good to us, careers were in the making !!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Places Called Home

I have stopped to count the MANY  places that we called home throughout our life together, but, I never remember the number !!  We had  a lot of different roofs over our heads, a lot were furnished rentals, some we owned (or mortgaged !! )  Douglas was in the Navy during our first years together, so moving around became a natural thing for us.  The top photo on the left was a large home in Norman, Oklahoma that had been converted into furnished apartments.  We had the second story, front, one bedroom unit. Douglas was going to aeronautical school, learning the trade that he would use for the rest of his life.  Two weeks after our wedding, he went to Norman, found the apartment, and I followed shortly thereafter. We were there just a few short weeks and then off to Millington, Tennesse for an advanced training school.  There, after a very tedious and long hunt, I found a converted attic apartment in Memphis, 16 miles from the base -- I will never forget one ad for a furnished apartment -- I went to look at it -- oh my !!  It was a rundown shack, broken windows, a bed with an old straw mattress -- wow !  the ad was certainly misleading !!  Tammy was born at the Millington, Tennesse Naval Base hospital one hot August day.  About two weeks later, his Mom, Dad and brother came to meet their new grand-daughter/niece.  I have always loved the photo of  Douglas, holding his new daughter, saying his good-byes when they left to return to Iowa.  October came and we were off again, this time to Quonset Point, Rhode Island.  Douglas had "leave" time, so we spent several days in Iowa for a visit with our families before moving on.  We purchased the 8' x 24' mobile home, hooked it up to that '46 Ford coupe and away we went to the East coast !!  The car was a lot worse for the wear and tear it took towing that "home", but, we made it !!  The mobile home was our roof over our head for the next three years, there in Rhode Island, in Canton, Ohio, then Virginia Beach, Virginia.  I was pregnant, we were going to need more room, we had an opportunity to sell the mobile home, so, we were off on a hunt for a  furnished apartment. I found this little two bedroom cottage just three blocks from the beach -- it certainly wasn't anything fancy, but, we thought being within walking distance of the ocean was the best thing, ever!!  Tammy and I loved going to the beach that summer of  '61.  The landlord, Andy and his wife, lived in a large house at the front of the lot.  Andy and Douglas had many a conversation over that little white picket fence. Look at Tammy trying to be "just like her Dad" !!

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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Family of Fishermen (and women)

Why anyone likes to go fishing is something I could never quite understand, but it seems Douglas came from a family of fishermen.  His parents and friends went to Minnesota and Canada off and on for years.  At one time, I think his parents had a cabin on a lake in one or both of those places.  Photos on the left show his parents catches of the day in Minnesota years ago.  The bottom left photo, Douglas is showing off his big catch to his daughter, circa 1961.  The other picture is his grand-daughter, Hilery, showing off her catch, around '84.  Photos on the right were taken while we were living in New Hampshire.  The duplex we rented there was on an acreage, with a large wooded area.  Back in those woods was a fairly large pond where bullheads were easy to catch.  Douglas spent many an hour there and there was always a good fish fry that evening !!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Prankster

The professional photo of Douglas was taken in 1983 when we were on a trip to Iowa to celebrate his parents 50th wedding anniversary. The snapshot with our Irish setter, Ginger, was back in the late 70's. Douglas mail ordered for the certificate to be a reverend of a church as it was a job that he always thought he would be good at. He did like to preach to me, sometimes !!! He had crazy business cards made up as a fun thing to give to people he met -- always looking to be the jokester !! Also on this page are odds for football bets and horse races, which were fun things he liked to do at the sports books at the casinos.  The Avon Man hat was a spur of the moment gift I gave to him.  I sold Avon products for years and he would always take the brochures to girls that worked at Pepper's, his favorite hangout.  They would give him orders for me and he would deliver them, so he became known as the "Avon Man" !!

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