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.