We dated on and off for about 2 years I suppose. I was 19 when I got married. I think she would have been 20 by that time. I do not remember the date of the wedding. We eloped to South Carolina. To get married in SC you had to give the Justice of Peace a 24 hour notice. We drove down one day and talked to the Justice of the Peace (a lady) and then went down the next day to get married. It seemed like it was in an old small house that had been converted into an office. Again, it is hard to remember at this point. I remember more things from the 3rd grade than my first marriage, interesting.
On the way down Hwy 601 the first time to SC we passed a mobile home trailer business on the left. We stopped in and eventually bought a trailer. Our marriage was actually more pre-planned that that. I began buying furniture when I was 15 before I moved out of my parent’s home to live with my grandmother, Mama Grant. I had a room full of furniture and other things. I was buying things for my eventual house all along. By the time we got married we had a house full of things from furniture to plates and more. There were not a lot of things we had to buy after marriage and all of these things were paid for.
I approached my other grandmother, Bubber, and asked her if she would be interested in selling some of her land to me. I was 17 at the time, maybe 18. She sold me 3.42 acres on Helms Pond Road. I bought and paid this off before we were married as well. I let one of the local farmers farm the land and give the proceeds to Bubber (grandmother) as an additional gift. I’m sure it wasn’t a lot. I never asked. I cut out about 1.5 acres where I could begin working it to get it ready for us to move our trailer onto it. I cut down the bank out front, had someone come in and cut a drive in, place the concrete culvert in, sowed grass and eventually bought a John Deere riding lawn mower, glory! Now that was the real deal. I was in hog heaven. By the time we moved on the property everything was paid for but the single-wide mobile home.
We went ahead and got married before we bought the trailer. We lived with Mama Grant the first few months until we got the trailer on the property, hooked up the septic tank and ran an easement across my parents property for the city water. I don’t remember how long that took to accomplish. It may have been 9 months or so. It wasn’t too long before we moved out of Mama Grants and by the time I was 20 we were set-up on our new property, new single-wide mobile home, living the American dream. Could it get any better than this? It was a mere four years from my time in jail to my own place…sweet! I made it.