My father remarried. I was his best man. I actually made a story in the morning paper. Being barely able to grow a beard, I was nevertheless keen to do so. It was a scraggly thing that my father was hoping I would get rid of before the wedding day. My hair was a bit unkempt too, I must admit.
At any rate, I decided it would be a kind thing to do to get a hair cut and to doff the beard. This was such a major event that the headline said something to the effect that his ‘son shaves beard for father’s wedding.’ They were married in May. I left home in September.
It was not easy to blend the two families. My younger brother and I were brought into my step mother’s home. Her daughter was roughly my age. The daughter was/is very pretty and this fact was not lost on me. However, she was quite unhappy that my brother and I invaded her turf. Actually, she was unhappy that I was there. I cannot, indeed do not, blame her. I think both of us were confused and not just a little angry.
One day after a particularly unpleasant fight, we both retired to our separate rooms. After a couple of days of no give-or-take, I decided it was probably best for me to move out. I loaded some clothing and a couple of personal knick-knacks into a duffle bag, took a loaf of bread, tossed the lot into my 1964 Ford Falcon and took off for spaces unknown. Unconsciously, I did have a destination: my sister’s house just north of Colville, WA.
After leaving I only had a month or two here-and-there that I returned home for periods, such was a summer break from college and a couple of months when I was based at McClellan Air Force Base. My father and step mother had planned a vacation during the time that I was in McClellan so they were not there when my wife and young son arrived for the summer.