HT & AJ- The Beginning

Wednesday, December 30, 2009




Papa, Mimi & me. December 2, 2004

My grandparents started everything. Col. Harry Thomas Sharkey, Jr., USAF ret. was born in October 1920. His beautiful bride of 69 years is Arlee Jo Andersen Sharkey of Tenino, WA. She was born on March 10, 1922. Papa died in November 2008. Mimi is now almost 88 years old.

I’m in Hawaii. Waikiki. For two weeks, alone. I found some amazing papers here at my Mom’s place. Mimi wrote about her life with Papa. Here is the beginning….

HT & AJ- The Beginning

This is being written in request from granddaughters that wanted to know more about how we met, married, etc. I’ll give you my version, sometimes my husband remembers some things a bit different, but it all works out the same—good.

We first became aware of each other the summer before my 16th birthday. He was spending the summer in Tenino with his mother and brother; he was living with his dad in Montesano. The first time I saw him I was hanging out clothes for my mother. Even though I had never dated I was still aware of a new, cute guy. He was visiting a friend that lived behind my folk’s house.

His story is that he asked some of the guys he was hanging around with who I was. Standard answer was “Arlee Jo Anderson, she’s stuck up”. That’s when he decided he wanted to live with his mother and go to school in Tenino, which he did. The first day of school he was watching from the window of his mother’s apartment for me to walk by, casually joined me and asked if he could carry my books. He was a determined boy, as he is a determined man. Besides, how could I resist him compared to any of the boys I went to school with!

My mother had a girl-boy party for my 16th birthday, mostly my classmates, but Bud Sharkey was included. I still have the gift he gave me that day, a silver loose-powder compact. By Christmas he was frequently at the Andersons house. Fortunately my parents both approved of him and he and my dad were good friends that fished and hunted together. The gift he gave me that Christmas was a memory box filled with “Evening in Paris” perfume and powder. Of course by that time we were madly in love. Everyone said “puppy love”, later the town folks would say, “Nice boy the Anderson’s raised for their daughter”. Through high school we were a “pair” and I loved watching him play basketball and baseball. He was my hero then as he is today.

The decision to get married came after he had graduated from high school and planned to live in Seattle with his sister. I still had one year left of high school. I still tease him and tell him he was afraid to leave me with all the great available Tenino boys—that is a joke!! At that time my dad was spending a lot of time in the VA hospital in Portland, doctors said it was results of mustard gas he encountered in WWI when he drove ammunition trucks to the front lines. It didn’t seem fair to suggest a wedding at that time: my mother had enough on her mind. My devious husband-to-be did all the homework. Found out we could get married in Idaho without parents consent. We borrowed my parents' car, supposedly going to Seattle to spend some days with his sister. We drove to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where somehow we found a Methodist minister that used to live in Montesano where the Sharkey family went to church. He and his wife were wonderful people, brought in the neighbors to stand up with us and served dessert after the ceremony. I was married in a two-piece wool dress I had made in home-ec and carried a nosegay of pink roses and violets. Our honeymoon night was spent in a cabin in the mountains on our way back to Seattle. We decided we were just supposed to get married at that time even though “Bud” found out he couldn’t afford to go to the U and found a job. I graduated from high school, our marriage still a secret from everyone except my sister-in-law. I went to Business College in Seattle and we were able to spend some time together at his sister's house. After that my dad got me a job in the Thurston County Auditors Office in Olympia as a recorder of legal documents. Those were the days before copying machines, etc. So I typed copies of all the legal documents that had to be proof read and filed as permanent records.

By that time living apart was not what we wanted so we finally told my parents about our marriage. They definitely approved and had a second ceremony in their home with family and friends present. We were able to buy the little one bedroom, one bath house directly behind my parents' house. The house cost $1,000, one hundred dollars down and $15.00 a month! I was still working and my guy had a job at Columbia Construction Co, I was making more money than he was, continued working until I found I was pregnant with our first daughter {Carolee Jo Sharkey, born November 2, 1943}. They were good days for us. We had many good friends that we got together with, Betty (my very best friend in high school) and Ray Whalin spent a lot of time together and the four of us can tell many good stories about those days! There will be other stories about that.

I feel I should mention that the boy that wanted to go to college never gave up. He did it the hard way, night school when he was overseas, any school that the Air Force offered credits for. It all paid off, he got his BA from U of Maryland when he was 42 years old. After that he continued to work diligently until he graduated from George Washington University at 49 years of age, with a Master’s Degree in Business.

My claim to fame is standing by my man and raising daughters, it’s what I loved doing. Our marriage has not been all love and kisses, there were difficult times but we always worked them out. As I write this we have been married 62 years. Dated this 16 Jan 2002.
(By Arlee Jo Sharkey)

3 comments :

Amy said...

love, love, love this. times a million!! Thanks so much for shaing sister. Enjoy your time in Hawaii...and post more memories when you have a chance!! xoxoxoxo love ya sister.

Sparkleneely said...

So sweet. I am so glad you transcribed this for all of you. And Evening in Paris... sigh.

Happy New Year, darling!!!

xoxoxo

Lex said...

love love love love love LOVE this. :) i hope there's more! :)

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