Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When You Were 19

Today is the 19th birthday of my son, Scott. He’s usually College Boy to you. I am thankful to have him in my life and proud of him, and I think that is probably all I need to say because having a mom who blogs about you may not be appreciated.

But, I thought back to what I was like when I was my son’s age. The year was 1971, and when I turned 19, I had been married exactly 31 days. The photo is of my father and me on my wedding day. I love the background. Our wedding was planned in a week.

That summer was hot and I was looking forward to getting back to school after staying with my in-laws for a month.

However soon, new husband and I were back at the University of Alabama, scraping by in a $75 a month, tiny one-bedroom apartment on 13th Street in Tuscaloosa, close enough to campus to walk. Our furniture was from a shabby second-hand store downtown--the bookcase, two boards and four concrete blocks. My mom paid $1,000 toward my expenses that year and the rest came from student loans and a work-study job. Between classes, we went to football games and free movies on campus, played ping-pong at the student center and studied. On weekends we drove out to Lake Tuscaloosa in our 1963 red VW Beetle, and I learned to drive a stick shift while destroying the clutch. In late November, Coach Bear Bryant’s boys beat Auburn 31-7 and the Tide went on to lose big to Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

During Christmas break, we watched the new Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever, with my husband’s mother. But in February of my 19th year, my new mother-in-law lost her fight with breast cancer. Spring saw us trying to help husband’s brother and grandmother deal with her death. On hindsight, I don’t think I was much help. We cleaned out the house and arranged for a lady to come in to check on Grandmother and went back to classes.

More tomorrow.


Sank said...

Great pic- we're we all such the hotties at 19... that was about 50 lbs a two chins ago for me.

NN said...

I loved seeing this photo and hearing all about 19 for you. Am sure it would be hard to imagine college boy following a similar path at this age. This generation has much different expectations for 19. What a radiant picture, no matter the background.

Lorelei said...

What a nice walk down memory lane. Happy memories, sad memories... I turned 19 the summer of 1987. I had just graduated from high school and I was pissed off that I had started school a year later than everyone else so that I was a year behind in starting college. I was an angry 19 yr old. Not much has changed since then except I'm fatter.

Jackie said...

Great photo of you and your Dad. When I turned 19 I was married and living in the bush 26 miles from the nearest town. It was a bit scary as I was pregnant and didn't know about babies and couldn't even cook properly but I survived and so did my son born a couple of months later LOL

Thought you might like to have a look at our local 2008 Cancer calendar which features cancer survivors from a young child to a 101 year old breast cancer survivor. Inspirational photos.

Sheila said...

I do not imagine College Boy will get married this next year. And you are right about his generation being different. I have great hope because I think the GenNexters are going to do some things rights that we have let go for too long.

I'm fatter too. Why do we have to gain weight as we get older? Well, I know some people don't--maybe I ought to talk to them.

I can't imagine how hard it must have been being so isolated, young and with child. It some times amazes me what we can do.

I appreciate the link to the calendar. 2008 is awesomely beautiful. The photography is so wonderful. I hope many calendars are sold for a very, very good cause.

Marion said...

What an incredible memory you have, Sheila! I wish I could still remember what street I lived on when I lived in Vancouver...I can't even find it, now! lol...let alone what I actually did there.

I love these memories...they bring back a time when all things were possible.

I love the photo...what an awesome chick you were...and are!

Educator-To-Be said...

What lovely posts! Thank you so much! I enjoyed them very much!

NOTHING happened to me while I was 19. I was simply a Freshman, learning my way around campus, and adapting to life away from home for the first time.

All I remember, mostly, is having to study all the time. University was much more serious than high school, and much more difficult, that first year.


Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Good story, Sheila!

Thank you very much!

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