BATHING AT BEPPU

The time was 1953 to 1954. My husband, Mac, was a Captain in the USAF, flying F-84 combat missions in the Korean War. His squadron was headquartered at a base called K-2, near Taegu, Korea. K-2 was a short distance from Itazuke AFB near the city of Fukuoka on Japan’s southernmost island of Kyushu. The F-84 pilots routinely flew their aircraft to Itazuke AFB for maintenance. I lived in a barracks on that base and taught American kindergarten children in a poorly heated, black metal Quonset hut. Continue reading

SEX EDUCATION IN COLLEGE

I was a sixteen year old farm girl when I entered college in 1946. I had picked up clues about sex by watching roosters with hens, drakes with ducks, and bulls with cows. Also, I knew what love felt like due to my serious crush on “Tommy” in high school. In our old-fashioned community, no adult woman would dare discuss sex with a girl until after she was married. A pregnant woman was said to be “that way”, in a whisper mouthed behind your mother’s hand. Continue reading

BAPTISM BY WET ZINNIA

I was sitting on a front pew in the rural Standing Rock Creek one-room Methodist Church in Stewart County, Tennessee. I must have been twelve (baptism age), in which case it was 1942. I know it was summer because there is a fresh-cut zinnia blossom in this story. Every Sunday we had Sunday school, but once a month, when the circuit preacher was scheduled, we also had worship service. The preacher would show up and deliver a sermon after Sunday school. Probably no more than twenty-five people were in attendance. Continue reading

WHISPERING THIEVES IN OUR BEDROOM

In the summer of 1962, we lived in Canilléjas, Spain, a suburb of Madrid. All our bedrooms were upstairs, except the maid’s room, which was downstairs behind the kitchen. Our upstairs master bedroom had sliding glass doors that opened onto a second floor wrap-around porch. Our house and yard, which included a small kidney-shaped pool, were protected by a high cement wall with shards of glass pointed upward and set securely into the cement on top the wall. Greenery disguised the ugliness of all that protection. We drove our car into this rented villa through a heavy, black, wrought iron gate that was always kept locked. We never left the gate unlocked or the car parked outside the gate, not even for a minute. We knew to expect, and guard against, theft.
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