I grew up in Marlow, Oklahoma. I was the second oldest of eight children, just beat out a year or so by my sister, Mary Jo. My husband to be was from Bray, Oklahoma, much smaller even than Marlow. He, Garland, was the oldest of eleven children. We became engaged to be married in 1954 and almost immediately, Garland left for his United States Air Force Tech Training in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I worked and continued to live with my mother, daddy and siblings while he was so many miles away.
Garland was determined to purchase a beautiful wedding set while he was in Wyoming. I knew with his military pay of around fifty dollars a month, it would be tough. But Garland was always an entrepreneur and would figure out a way. He lived in the barracks, much like what you would see on Gomer Pyle reruns. On pay weekend, once a month, each man would collect his pay, buy his essential toiletries and then head back to the barracks with the cash that was left for good, all night, poker games. There would be three or four games going at a time until the winner of each table would end up together for that last game. Garland rarely lost. And so in just a couple of months time, he had earned enough money from his poker games, to buy my wedding rings. He had already chosen a beautiful Art Carved 14 K wedding set at a jewelry store in downtown Cheyenne. The rings were quite expensive at over three hundred dollars, but he had “worked” hard and purchased them for his bride to be.
Once the rings were purchased, Garland decided it was not safe to have such an expensive item in his barracks. He wrote to me and told me that he would be mailing them to me so that I should watch for them. Our delivery man lived not too far from our house in the country and drove an old Model-T. I’ll never forget the day he pulled up to our farm-house and walked up to the porch. I knew what was in the package and could not WAIT to open my wedding set and put them on my finger! The delivery man said that first though, I had to sign for them. While I was in the process of signing for my rings, my sister, Jo, grabbed the package and took off with it! By the time I had finished up at the front door, she had the package OPENED and MY wedding rings were on HER finger!! I don’t really recall the scramble and the words that had to have been exchanged after that. I do know that Jo and I talked about it not too long ago and she told me that I should have been really mad at her. That she would have been furious had I done that to her. We all just laugh about it though, as it’s a great story to share. (and I still have my guaranty on my rings! do you think it’s still good?)
And by the way, just months later, I (Faye) married my Air Force man on August 8, 1954 at the Nazarene parsonage in Marlow,Oklahoma. I was eighteen and Garland was nineteen. My sister, Jo, helped me get ready for that wedding. Never a hard feeling over the “ring thing”. I needed her in my life. One month after marrying Garland, he shipped out to Germany and France for a total of nineteen months.
There’s a lot more to this story, but in a nutshell, Garland and I have had the happily ever after. (AND he hasn’t played poker in years! haha) This August we will be married 58 years. My favorite get togethers are still with my sisters, yes, especially JO! (and Betty, Jean and Debbie!)
This story comes from our mother, Faye Sims, of Moore, Oklahoma. She and her sisters love getting together to celebrate life, and when they are together, you are guaranteed to laugh. (and eat and shop!) They are all still ornery and we wouldn’t have them any other way!