Just before midnight on Friday, Ed finally returned home from 12 days in Colorado and Wyoming. It is wonderful to have him back here where he belongs. I told him he has to take me with him from now on if he expects to be gone for more than a week!
And he brought me a present! That's Ed's portrait above, taken soon after he joined the Air Force. He enlisted just a few months before his 20th birthday in 1980.
It's the only picture I've ever seen of Ed when he was a young man. In fact, until last Christmas I had never seen any pictures taken of him during the first 45 years of his life at all. I was so excited in December when his mom mailed me one of his elementary school pictures. Now, at last, I can imagine my husband as he was as a young man.
November 1975- This is how I looked at age 21
Naturally, the next thing I did was drag out my old photo albums to find pictures of myself around the same age. The one above was taken at a cast party following our final performance of Hello, Dolly! I portrayed Ernestina Money, the fake heiress Dolly Levi sets up as Horace Vandergelder's blind date.
6 Dec 1980: Here I am as a bridesmaid at age 26.
Of course, since I'm a tad older than Ed, I was actually 25-26 years old when he was a 19-20 year old enlistee. As it turns out, Ed lived not too far from me when I was posing for the picture above.
Ed worked at Luke Air Force Base and lived in Chandler, Arizona, from early July to mid-December 1980. My family moved to Mesa, Arizona, in March 1980. So Ed and I actually lived about 20 miles apart for almost 6 months in 1980, although we never met. Besides, at that time he was married to his first wife, with a baby on the way. The first of his five sons, Drake, was born in January 1981.
I now have many, many pictures from Ed's childhood in my possession. The last time we visited Ed's mom, Caryl, she gave us permission to bring home two boxes filled with family slides. That was in December. It took a couple of months to locate and purchase a good slide scanner, but then I set to work scanning in over 1,000 of Ed's family slides. I still have 200-300 left to scan. What a job!
Ed's dad took lots of pictures, but he didn't label very many of the slides, nor did he keep the sets of slides together. For instance, if a roll of film contained pictures of Christmas, vacation, farm equipment, and trees, he split the slides into 4 different boxes for Christmas pictures, vacation pictures, farm equipment pictures, and tree pictures, alongside similar pictures from several other rolls of film in those same boxes.
In order to determine approximate dates for these slides, I've had to try to reassemble them as each set belonging to the original rolls of film. Not easy, since the earlier slides weren't even numbered or imprinted with the dates they were developed. It's been one giant, challenging jigsaw puzzle, as you can see in the very small sample of slides in the photo above.
The biggest mystery, though, is where the rest of the family slides and/or pictures are hiding. The slides we brought home cover dates ranging from 1950 to 1977 (with some slides missing from most of the sets), but there's not a thing after that. Caryl and Ed both tell me there should be more family photos for the following years, but Ed was unable to locate any more while he was at his mom's place these past 2 weeks.
Thus the oldest photo I had of Ed was age 16, until he brought me that Air Force picture from his mom. Don't worry, once I complete my scanning project, I plan to do some posts featuring some great old Reynolds family pictures!
9 Apr 2011: Dylan sweeps snow off the car.
I drew this bear on the envelope when I sent Ed a "Happy Online Annversary " card
to commemorate our first communique on April 1st.
I'm so happy to have my sweet husband back where he belongs! Overall, I'd say life is good!