Part One Here
Part Two Here
The Eighties Kinda Sucked For Me. Not horribly but slightly. Now I will digress and tell you why.
During the Eighties, I came home from Egypt and SFM. I had spent the last three years of the Seventies in the Sinai Desert and these were glorious years for me.
During the (very early) Eighties, actually very late Seventies, I got married.
At the beginning of the Eighties, Ronald Reagan was president and I was twenty-two years old: could not deny me or tell me anything! I had ‘seen’ the World!
During the Early Eighties, the Prime Lending Rate went from nine percent to twenty percent, thus making it real difficult for me to sustain a Small Business loan for my Tropical Fish Store.
I overcame all of this. By sheer guts and asshole-ness. (and by writing a seriously hot check, for three thousand dollars! I gave a shit not.)
But, I embraced it:
And somewhat thrived. Trickle Down, as they say, but not to mention, my bride and I slept on Army Cots for two years… We slept with the fishes.
And ate baked potatoes, cooked in a microwave which we had
stolen borrowed. With pressed ham.
And the occasional onion… on Saturdays. And bacon on Sundays. And sometimes sour cream on Mondays.
We eventually left that place (after four years) Yep, we escaped Nacogdoches, Texas, which for us had been what we could imagine living in The Movie ‘Deliverance’ would have been like.
We escaped to Plano, Texas, which for many (but not us), was like living in the TV Show ‘Dallas’.
We discovered that we were more poor there than anywhere. In Nacogdoches we were ‘business owners’. In Plano we were just scum: no furniture, no fixtures, no nada: SCUM. We got thrown out of our first apartment because “Y’all don’t have no furniture and y’all are sleeping on the floor. This violates y’all’s lease agreement. Goodbye.”
We soldiered on…
We did sell, at a garage sale, damn near everything we owned, to include my prized Celestron Telescope and my wife’s Mikasa China from her first marriage.
Just to eat.
(Food was a prerequisite back then)
We made a stance.
My Long-time Bride and my Soul-Mate, and a veteran of the “hard days” tole me one day,
She said, “Lance’, this is no way to live! Do something! Any thing!”
So, I did. I told her I was gonna join the U.S. Navy. And send her all her allotment and everything else. And meant it.
She initially balked at this (and she was former U.S. Army Reserve) at that time.
She said to me, and I quote:
“Lance, you are gonna do this thing, right? Then, I ask of you one thing: I wanna be a house-wife for just one year… can you give me that?”
“Yes! I said.”
So I got another job and worked my ass…
And I gave her her one year.
Then I joined the Navy.
And sometimes after all these years, I still miss our poverty days, because we were so happy being poor.
And I did serve my country, just as I had promised her I would (We, The Both, were Patriots, by an’ by…)