I met my husband, Al, during the summer and fall of 1940. He was a roommate of a friend and neighbor in Valley Junction. We seemed to be attracted to each other immediately. I was invited to be his guest at a formal in Iowa State College, a first date. We saw each other when he could get gasoline to travel to Des Moines for the weekend. Quite often he would hitchhike the 30 miles and bring a pheasant (which he hunted) for our special meal.
Things to do: We walked a lot because of gasoline rationing (travel was curtailed). Since he was in college, there was very little money. My job gave us a bit for an occasional movie or a boat ride on the Des Moines River. One dark night we hunted big angle worms after a rain storm. He was often late getting back to school, I'm sure.
Rationing curtailed sugar, butter, gas, tires. We saved grease from cooking and frying. I gave mine to Tillie (Al's mother) who made home soap used for washing clothes. I still have my ration book and token holder.
Working girls in Des Moines helped out by "knittin' for Britain." We knitted sweaters and socks. My sweater was orange and since I was a beginner, my sweater was really large. Every row grew wider with each "knit & pearl." One January Sunday afternoon in 1942 we walked blocks and blocks talking about whether we should get married or break up. I WON. We were married during Spring break by the minister at Al's home church much to the surprise (or objection) of his dad.
We lived in the Lincoln Way Apartments in Ames. I kept my job in Des Moines, but commuting was difficult. I applied at Iowa State and was hired in admissions. We walked to school and work every day until he graduated. My thought all through this was, "Will my husband have to go." As a student veterinarian, he was deferred to finish school. As soon as his class graduated they all went to Fort Des Moines to take their physicals. Since Al is color blind, he was classified 4F. As a beginning practitioner, Al chose to go to Gravity, Iowa. After one year we moved to Iowa Falls and he covered for a vet who had been called to the army. While there, Al was called up and I remember talking to our little black Scotty, "It looks like we will be alone." Since it was important to see colors, his 4F still kept him out.
A year later we looked for a new location and moved to Nashua. We still didn't know about the Army situation. Then the Army decided colorblind vets were an advantage, so they offered the choice of joining the National Guard or going in as a private. By that time, Al had an excellent practice and was more valuable as a veterinarian than in the Army. He got his Army discharge when he was 65.