Wilma received an inheritance from Clara when she died. At the time she was working as a bookkeeper for Greylock Electronics in Kingston. With the unexpected windfall came decisions to be considered:

1. She must attend UCCC full time to receive a degree in music.

2. She must leave Greylock and her medical benefits.

3. We could only afford one car. She would have to find a ride from Rosendale.

We had been renting an apartment in Rosendale for the past five years from Joe and Marg Lafara. Weighing our options, Rosendale was the closest rental we might find to the college. The rent was affordable and my salary could support us, however, this would leave her without medical benefits.

I then offered her the best medical benefits available.

She was angry. She referred to my mother and father as never being married.

She said it was a terrible proposal and wouldn't speak to me for a week.

Finally we both agreed, already being in love, we needed another reason to marry.  We were married at the office of the town justice, Bill Doolittle on October 5, 1975.  Linda was bridesmaid and Ed Scharmer best man. Bill Liggan and Liz were witnesses.

Wilma was an excellent student with straight A's. Wilma's mother Clara was a teacher before her marriage to John Lyon. Her ability showed as inspiration in her children. Wilma's brother John holds a doctorate in music and taught at James Madison College in Virginia. All of John's children went on to masters and doctorates.

From this background came my personal editor and scholastic guide; my moralistic conscience, and ethical finger waver. Also, a damn good cook.

For my spelling alone I might have been put out to pasture. Instead I graduated with a 3.8. For a high school dropout I was lucky.

Maybe that presence didn't leave my shoulder when I left the Navy.

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