Monday, February 1, 2010
Colonels and Generals and Fighter Pilots, Oh My!
Working as a Kelly Girl in my Newlywed Days living on base at Davis Monthan AFB in Tuscon, Arizona, I was assigned to the newly established DEER Enlistment Program to register all active personnel and their dependents with identification cards.
Along with a dozen other girls, we sat at classroom desks with our Selectric typewriters and endless forms to be typed without error. Eight hours a day handsome fighter pilots in training waited helplessly in line for one of us to be available.
I most loved about this job the opportunity to work so closely with other secretaries who seemed so glamorous and worldly to me. One had fiery red hair and had been a Las Vegas show girl in the past. One had been an English War Bride. One was a most beautiful Mexican girl who was dangerously flirting with the base Chaplin. I think the overload of cologne in the air affected everyone!
Each day for lunch we were taken by bus to the NCO Club. White linen table cloths, china and silver, it all seemed too good to be true. Salads the order of the day, iced tea with lemon. Conversation always the same.
"I can't believe she's going to go ahead and marry him after what he did to her!" Indignant agreement, "Don't forget he kidnapped her, too!" "Did you hear what the Doctor had to say about it all?" another would add to the conversation. Suspiciously quiet day after day, it was finally asked why I didn't participate in the conversation. I replied, "I'm so sorry but I don't know anyone with such dramatic lives as you all seem to know. I have never known anyone who was murdered or kidnapped."
"Oh, Elizabeth honey. We aren't talking about real people. Don't you know who Luke and Laura are?"