Let me tell you about my husband and why I'm so proud to be his wife. But first a little background. Jack's mother, to me anyway, is not the most self-assured person, though as a young girl she seemed to be. She left home an went all the way to Calif. on her own where she met a Marine and they decided to get married. We even have the papers they filled out, but he was shipped out before it took place. Though a few letters were received from him, he couldn't tell his where abouts, then they stopped coming. Home to her family she came, pregnant and I'm sure feeling shame. In those days you didn't do such things. She gave him, his fathers name and raised him with the help of family until he was four when she married.
Now to the step-father and possible more reason for her lack of confidence. Raymond was a big man, 6'2" or better and over 200lbs. He was hard man and definitely didn't believe in sparing the rod. Jack is a natural left-hander which would set Raymond off immediately. One of those who believed the left hand was the sign of the devil. He would beat Jack everytime he caught him using it. Now I should say Jack didn't always help matters by reminding him at these times that he was NOT his father. He beat Jack so bad one time a neighbor finally stepped in (you didn't do that back then either) and threaten give twice what he handed out to the boy. Raymond was a lazy guy who always looked dirty and greasy to me. One that didn't hold down a job and they moved constantly, causing Jack to change schools often. He had to repeat both 1st and 2nd grades. To make matters worse all Raymonds and Dolly's kids were girls. He was so bad even his girls told their mother that if she didn't get rid of them they were leaving too.
The Thanksgiving when Darla was 2 weeks old when tried the family thing on his side. Now you must know Raymond made my skin crawl so this was quite the chore for me. He picked up and held Darla and I had all I could do to keep my mouth shut. The poor child suffered for this, because as soon as we were home I stripped her down, scrubbed her good, and burned the clothes she wore. That tells what I thought of him.
When Jack finished the ninth grade he left home for the summer to stay with his grandmother and told his mother we wasn't ever coming back. He didn't and I think she may have taken a few beathings herself for not forcing him too. The school he was going to was more geared to a kid planning on college and Jack knew he didn't have the resoursces or grades for that. Though he was, by no means, lacking in intelligence. So he left and went to school where I did, where he could learn skill that would help him get a job. He learned printing (which is a lost art now) and of course there was auto-mechanics.
We married after he graduated (I graduated a year earlier) which was 2 years later than he should have if they hadn't moved so much. He was make $45 a week at a local print shop and I was working at the Admiral corp. He went to tech school to learn welding and then he left the print shop and went to work for Beloit Corp. which made printing machines. He worked his way into better jobs like fixing them for customers if something went wrong.
There was an opening on the local fire dept. and he applied and got the job. It was the job he loved the most and the one that gave him the the shaft. The man he was stationed with was (to my way of thinking) was a snob. If you didn't live in the right place you didn't belong and this man became Chief. The township had to cut back at that time, closed one station and laid off 2 men. Both were from our neighborhood and, of course Jack was one. Did he let that keep him away? No, he stayed as a volunteer (paid-on-call now), and that man had to see him at every call. Jack went to more schooling and became an EMT.
But what did he do for regular employment? He took a job as a custodian for the local school district. The boss there saw potential and made him the district maintenance man. That added to his schooling as he went and learned, plumbing, electrical, boiler maintenance, abestos removal, floor care etc. He has degrees in each and every one. A 3-ring binder full of them. He eventually move to another school district with a retirement plan from which he finally retired.
He loved clowns and decided one hobby would be one and joined 'Cousin's Otto's Clown Ally', even recuiting Darla who was a 8 yr. old. They marched in the Circus Parade in Milwaukee and she being so little was the one the kids weren't afraid of.
We had 2 boys so he became a scout leader learning and teaching the skills they need. This helping in his yearly trips with the science schools he still does.
This became a little long, but you can see why I feel so proud to be his wife and why my kids are so quick to let people know who their dad is and how much they love him.