Ted’s first home, December, 1973

When I got on the plane to go home for Christmas in December, 1973, there was some interesting news. Earlier that month I had met a most charming young woman. Her name was Jacquelyn Vestal. As much as I enjoyed meeting Jacque, I didn’t know at the time that I was going to marry her.

2nd and High
2nd and High

The house was built for Judge Owens in 1925 on the northwest corner of 2nd and High in Joplin. This picture, taken from the chicken lot diagonally across the street, shows the house and the garage and the little house next door on the same property. Snow is falling. You could have gone ice skating on the street.

front yard
front yard [inset: Aunt Verne and me, 1946]

Aunt Verne had a favorite lawn chair in the front yard, shaded by a big tree that once grew there. By 1973 the tree and my aunt were gone but the chair is still where it always was, covered with snow.

across High
across High — compare with January 11, 1949

Looking west from across High we can see the house as it was built originally – a two-story cube with a vestibule on the east side – then the new section added on the left.

looking southeast from the back yard

Twin chimneys helped support a TV antenna that fed down into the living room. Our back yard was a jungle in the summer, but in the winter you could see all the way to the house. On the right there’s a crabapple tree between the house and the garage. In my youth baseball days I would bat crabapples and pretend I was a famous slugger.

looking north from Second Street

The first generation of trees along Second Street fell victim to Dutch elm disease, but we planted new ones and a hedge along the sidewalk. That cedar tree was growing much too close to the house! I later chopped it down.

1974_Jacque_Ted_Joplin A year later, newlyweds visit Ted’s family home.

Jacque and I had been married three months when I took her to visit my mother for Christmas week at her house in Joplin. On the day we went there we saw all four of our parents: Jacque’s folks drove us to the San Francisco airport, my father met us between flights in Kansas City, and my mother met us when we got off the plane in Joplin. No white Christmas in 1974, but did we care?

The “B” on my letter jacket is from Blackwell, Oklahoma, where I was on the high school football team in 1960. My total experience in varsity football consists of one series of downs against Chilocco Indian School, which Blackwell beat handily. The coach figured he could send us third-stringers in for one series of downs late in the game. Then he brought us back to the bench.

updated December 2, 2016 more pictures of Joplin