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Geri's Story



Her Life

Her Loves

Her Lord



Geraldine Reeves Bond

With Bob Bond



Copyright © 2017 Bob Bond

BOND PUBLISHING COMPANY

SMASHWORDS EDITION

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

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Formatting by Daniel J. Mawhinney

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Cover design by Jonna Feavel

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Printed in the United States of America



CONTENTS

DEDICATION

INTRODUCTION

1. GERI’S STORY BEGINS

2. THE EARLY REEVES FAMILY

3. TO KANSAS

4. GERI GETS MARRIED

5. BOBBY GOES TO SERVICE

6. HER LOVE COMES HOME

7. PROBLEMS ARISE

8. FORTY YEARS LATER

9. LOOKING BACK

10. RETURN TO OKLAHOMA

11. ANOTHER MOVE

12. MOVING TO PRATT, KANSAS

13. A REAL VACATION, 1947

14. WYOMING HERE WE COME

15. TO KANSAS AGAIN

16. WE BECAME LOGGERS

17. WHO IS BOB BOND

18. THE BONDS IN CALIFORNIA

19. BACK TO OKLAHOMA

20. IN THE ARMY NOW

21. TO BEAUTIFUL OKINAWA

22. A DREAM REALIZED--OU

23. FINALLY, TEXAS

24. BACK TO HER STORY

25. BOB WAKES UP

26. JUST BOB FROM HERE

27. STONEWALL GUEST RANCH

28. BACK TO PERRYTON

DEDICATION

This is dedicated to the memory of Geraldine (Geri) Reeves Bond, certainly in the upper echelon of the most wonderful people who have ever walked the face of this earth. None of this work would have taken place without her inspiration and dedication. She left such a huge hole in my heart and life and in so many others--her four children, her eleven grandchildren, her three great grandchildren, her siblings, her nieces and nephews and friends.

INTRODUCTION

Footnote from Bob: Geraldine Reeves Bond wrote most of this story starting sometime about 2012. It was included in several stories that she had written and at one point she started over and did a completely different story. Her first stories were written in the third person, then later she changed to first person. I have not changed that format. A reader will see a switch from first to third person in the same area and I have chosen to leave it as she wrote.

There may be situations because of taking parts of four different stories that I will have had something happen that did not happen when the family lived at that location. My thinking is that those who know it is wrong will know where it did happen and for those who don't know, it really won’t make any difference.

My beautiful bride had a left hip replacement in 2014, but the hip got an infection and after one attempt to open and cleanse the wound, the hip was removed in a third surgery. Two days later, the doctor re-opened the wound for a fourth time and put in a spacer, basically a stick with a ball at one end. The fifth surgery was for a second hip. During all this time, she was hospitalized 77 days, most of that for IV antibiotics, both before and after the second hip replacement. The entire ordeal was very depressing for her and I feel may have contributed to what happened next.

In late October 2015, I was hospitalized at Baptist St Anthony Hospital in Amarillo to receive stents in my ailing heart. She and our son, Paul, were staying at an Amarillo motel and she visited me as much as possible. We had just finished watching "Wheel of Fortune" on television and I suggested since she did not like to drive after dark that she probably would want to get to her lodging.

Sounds indicated that she was trying to get up but when I looked I realized that she was only going through the motions. A look at her face told me the facts and I pushed the call button and said, "I think my wife has had a stroke." Within 30 seconds four hospital personnel were rushing her to the emergency room five floors below. In the emergency room, a doctor was already standing by waiting for her arrival with the medicine needed.

She remained in intensive care for a week but at the end doctors told us that she could not survive off life support and I made the decision she had so often pleaded with me to make in case of the situation. Life support was removed when family members could arrive and she left us for heaven at 1:20 a.m. on November 4, 2015.

As she would have wanted, I have compiled this story from at least five sources and have taken our family history up to the present. Our writing styles differ and readers can probably detect which of us wrote parts.



1. GERI’S STORY BEGINS

NOVEMBER 2001

Geri stood staring out the window, tears streaming down her face. Gale force winds, driving snow down the drive brought the chill factor to minus eight degrees.

It was such an evening she was remembering in her warm stately home, looking back over forty years of life's journey, the scattered pieces, how it was then, the hopelessness she felt that one cold, hard winter.

NOVEMBER 1958

Large feathery flakes of snow driven by a howling wind, were slowly piling into drifts as Geri sat by the window holding Paul, her four-year-old son. By morning there would be several inches of snowfall and large drifts. His big brown eyes, just like his daddy's, sparkled as he watched and said, "maybe we can build a snowman?" "We will, when I get off work," she answered, trying to put out of mind the thoughts of walking ten blocks to work through the deep snow the next morning. She just wanted to enjoy this moment with her son. Geri tried to keep a smile on her face, but little Paul could see the sadness in his mother's eyes.

The drafty old two-story apartment house was not as nice as they had hoped for, but it was all Geri could afford at only ten dollars a week. She had gotten a job checking groceries making thirty-five dollars a week, after deductions.

Laundry had to be done in the bathtub, there wasn't money for the laundromat. Scrubbing and disinfecting the facilities was a necessity since they were sharing with two other tenants down the hall, neither of whom seemed very clean.

Geri made arrangements at a nearby hardware store to purchase a used black and white TV and an iron. The iron was a must since she would have to have a clean, starched uniform every day. The TV she felt necessary for Paul to watch the cartoons he loved. Geri ask the salesman if he could put them on payments. He said he could, but the cable was another twenty dollars. He went to the office, did some figuring, and came back saying he could arrange it all for $6.52 a month. She thanked him gratefully.

Geri's gaze took in the drab, grayish-green walls of her two-room upstairs apartment. Peeling paint didn't daunt the feeling of thankfulness. "Paul, at last we have a place of our own," she said. Finding an old can of paint brought hope that she could make the place more livable. She painted one wall before running out. The landlord wasn't interested in getting more.

A table, two chairs, an old stove and refrigerator furnished the bare kitchen. From the two curtainless windows they had a perfect view of the passing trains. Each evening Geri and Paul would watch the sleek silver streamliners as they sped westward. They could see the passengers in the dining car eating, with tables spread with linen cloths. It looked so interesting as Geri hugged little Paul to her side and said, "someday we'll take a trip on that train.... maybe even go to California." They watched as the train slowly disappeared into the sunset.

A humble place with only an open flame gas heater for warmth, some nights so cold Geri put her coat over the top of the covers to keep little Paul warm. "I should buy more blankets," she thought, "but money is so short.......Christmas is coming." They huddled together to keep warm as wind blew through the cracks around the windows of the sparsely furnished bedroom/living-room consisting of an iron bedstead, an old stained mattress, and an antique dresser. Geri spread her beautiful burgundy satin bedspread on the bed, one of the few keepsakes she had left. She had bought it while Bobby was in Korea....she had such dreams back then!

Living just off the opposite end of main street from Geri's work, walking home took them all the way down Kansas Avenue, Liberal's main street. Enjoying the Christmas displays in the store windows made the walk seem shorter and took their minds off the numbing cold. They dreamed of what 'Santa Claus' would bring and made a game of walking home together in the snow. She carried little Paul if it was too deep.

They purchased a small tree and stopped by the 'five and dime' store, bought a set of lights for a dollar, plus a few balls and icicles. Little Paul would never ask for toys, he knew his mother wouldn't have the money to spare. He just looked and touched the little toys. After decorating the tree, they went downstairs to look up at their very own beautiful tree in the window.

Geri ordered Paul a little army pedal jeep for twenty-one dollars. This was to be his only present until she discovered she could charge a bag of army toys at the grocery store where she worked. It consisted of a canteen, mess kit, helmet, and rifle. This would complete his Christmas.

Jimmy, a co-worker volunteered to help her get the little jeep home. On the way, he shyly asked, "would you go out with me?" He was only eighteen, blonde, blue-eyed, very handsome. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, she said, "you are really a nice guy, but I'm divorced, twenty-three.... a lot older than you. You deserve a sweet young girl." Although embarrassed, he never mentioned it again. Geri thought of herself as 'damaged' goods, as her mother kept telling her, Bobby had 'ruined' her for anyone else.

Little Paul was so happy Christmas Day. He spent the day outside on the snowy sidewalk, pedaling his jeep, the biggest smile on his face. His happiness was enough for Geri. She didn't need a present.

A few weeks later, arriving home from church one Sunday morning, Geri climbed the dimly lit stairway as Paul ran ahead. She found him sitting on the old man's lap, the 'wino'. "What are you doing in my apartment?" she asked. He replied, "I just brought my ham over to put it in your refrigerator. I thought we could share the refrigerator." Geri was stunned and half-scared, thinking that anyone could just walk into her apartment. She could only lock it from the inside with a latch. She answered a very stern "NO! I don't want anyone in my apartment!"

Immediately she started searching for another affordable apartment. One of the ladies at work told her about a duplex near her that was available. It would be closer to her work, but it will cost $65 a month plus bills. "By cutting back on groceries, I can do it!" she thought, "Christmas is past, so we will be moving after the first of the year."

Little Paul liked the new place so much because he had several other kids to play with. He came running in from playing and said "Momma, Stevie has a daddy! Do I have a daddy?" Choking back tears and taking a deep breath she said, "yes you do." He said "Well....where is he"? She answered, "across town." Putting his hands on his hips he said "well, why doesn't he come and see me?" Geri made excuses about him being very busy "but he really does love you." Paul slowly sauntered back outside, with his hands in his pockets and his head bowed. She went into the other room crying. She was secretly hoping that being closer, just across town, Bobby would come to see Paul, his only son.

Paul seemed to notice the men at work who would be stocking groceries. This just tore Geri's heart out. She thought, "what have I done to my darling boy? Lord, help us through this heartache." she prayed, "Jesus, you know all about our pain. You said you would go with us, through it all." She then started thinking about all the events that had led them to this trying situation.



2. THE EARLY REEVES FAMILY

The family seemed to be doing well, financially. They bought a brand-new Buick, gray with white sidewalls, venetian blind in the rear window, navy awnings on the windows, visor over the windshield and fender skirts. They were 'up-town'.

They went on a two-week trip to California to see Bill's parents and all of his brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews who had ended up in California after migrating from Oklahoma in the 1930's.

In March 1949, Geri's Dad decided to tear the old three-room house down and make a new ranch style, three-bedroom house with a large kitchen, separate dining room with a huge living room with fireplace and an attached garage. This was quite a jump from the old days. The entire house had oak hardwood floors. It was gorgeous! The whole family helped.

November of 1949, before the house was quite completed, Geri's dad came in from work and announced, "we're moving to Wyoming." This was exciting to her, but not to her mother, who was not happy at all. It meant moving into a 25-foot trailer house with a family of six, down one because her older sister had gotten married earlier.

There were no houses available to rent in the boomtown of Newcastle. After some time of arguing, Geri's mom gave in to move, but they agreed to keep their home in Pratt, Kansas.

This move proved to be a turning point in Geri's life, where she could start over. Newcastle proved to be a very friendly place, where the family was readily accepted into the church and school, a real switch from Kansas. The girls dressed in western clothes, jeans, and cowboy shirts.

Geri had started 'filling out' and was looking pretty good. She had long brown curly hair and brown eyes. People would tell her, in her mother's presence, that she was so beautiful. She couldn't believe it. Her mother didn't want her to get conceited or the big-head. Her older sister Donna was so beautiful, she thought she could never be that pretty. Her mother was always getting free coupons for portraits and having Donna's picture taken, ever since she was young. Geri thought that she must be too ugly, or they would have her picture taken. Sometime, when she and her brother would go to a carnival, she would have her own picture taken to see if she was really that ugly, and sure enough, she was. In Wyoming, after turning 15, she had a good picture taken at a carnival and it looked pretty good. Still, they didn't have her picture made, only school pictures which didn't turn out good enough for her mother to buy.

A handsome 18-year-old guy who could sing so beautifully, really seemed 'taken' with Geri, but he had a steady girl. Another guy was 19 and more persistent, had a good personality, but so homely. He took Geri riding on his motorcycle. New Year’s Day, the whole youth group from church drove over to Hot Springs, South Dakota, to go swimming in the indoor pool. In that area, they thought nothing of driving one hundred and fifty miles to go swimming in the middle of the winter.

Just when she was about to go to a party with the good looking 18-year-old, her dad said, "we are moving." They did, the next morning. She was so disappointed. They moved back to Kansas to finish the school year. Then two weeks before the end of the school year, they moved back to Newcastle so Geri and her brother, who was a junior, had to take semester tests early.

Early summer they moved to southern Wyoming at Douglas. This is where they spent the summer and Geri started her sophomore year and Maynard, his senior year. While in Douglas, Geri got a job babysitting for a barber and his wife while the wife was in the hospital having a baby.

She got acquainted with a girl at church who was attending Southwestern Bible School in Waxahachie, Texas. She talked Geri and Maynard into finishing high school in Waxahachie so they wouldn't have to move during school. Of course, this meant going 700 miles away from their family. Geri saved all her wages all summer, bought towels, sheets, and material for a choir uniform. She also bought a white chenille robe, a navy accordion-pleated skirt and flat black shoes.

She thought she could work in the kitchen or another job on campus for her room, board, and tuition. When it came time, she couldn't leave her family. Her older brother had already backed out on going his senior year to Southwestern, so she wouldn't go alone.

Geri enjoyed the Douglas high school. Everyone was so friendly. The captain of the football team asked her to the school dance, but she told him she didn't believe in dancing. He then asked, "would you go to the show with me?" She had to tell him "I can't go to picture shows either." After that, he probably thought she didn't want to go out with him.

In October 1950, the oil company moved to Brush, Colorado. Geri and her brother had to walk a quite a distance to school and It was a very cold walk. The school wouldn't let girls wear slacks to school, but Geri didn't have any anyway since her mother didn't believe in them. This is a very cold part of Colorado, with wind whipping straight across the plains. They were to be in Colorado for only two weeks, so Geri didn't want to start to school, but the company kept staying. Finally, she started the third week. They were there five weeks altogether before moving to Liberal, Kansas.



3. TO KANSAS

NOVEMBER 1950

KANSAS...! Would this be one of the many moves her family would make this year, with her dad's job, or would they get to live here more than a few weeks?

Seems as though Geri would just make new friends, then they would have to move again! This was the seventh move in one year, the third this sophomore school year and it was only November!

Geri was 15 when she moved to Liberal. She got a part-time job at Duckwall's, but just worked an hour now and then, but saved up to buy a nice red plaid 'ready-made' dress for $6.99. The sewing class allowed her to make a nice red blouse and white skirt, something new of her very own. Her parents couldn't afford to buy the material for poodle skirts or the nice wool sweaters and skirts like other girls had. They were too expensive so she didn't even ask. Up until now, she just wore her older sister's hand-me-downs. Donna was three years older, had a good job with the telephone office before she was married and had bought nice dressy clothes, but not quite what girls Geri's age were wearing to school.

At this school, everyone was very nice to her, especially one girl, Nadine. She was very pretty with short brown hair and brown eyes, and sweet personality. She arranged a date for Geri to go skating with this cute guy, Bill. Her curfew was 11 o'clock. The other boy they went with drove and when they reached Hugoton where the skating rink was located found it was closed. This was her second date with Bill.

Nadine's date drove home so slowly, Geri was 15 minutes late. Her mother jumped out of bed and gave her a terrible whipping. Geri wouldn't date Bill ever again, even though he begged her over and over. He would drive beside her as she walked from school, asking her to please come and ride with him. She always refused.

He was so handsome and fun too, sort of looked like Burt Reynolds, with black curly hair and long, long eyelashes. She just drooled when he kissed her. What was wrong with her! He was so much fun.

She explained to him that she had gotten a terrible whipping over being late. He couldn't understand why she would have been punished so badly over 15 minutes.

Geri's mother even told her she should go with him, but she was determined to show her mother! She would show her! Bill finally gave up and moved back to where he came from. Geri never saw him again.

A week or two later, Nadine said, “Geri, you need to meet this friend of my brother. He's very handsome.... reminds me of you...quiet.” She agreed to see him the next weekend.

Geri showered and dressed, brushing her long, dark brown hair. Only a little Vaseline on her eyelashes and lips, a little of her dad's skin-colored talcum powder, and a dab of the "Evening in Paris" perfume, would complete her primping. She was not allowed to wear 'make-up'. Remembering the terrible whipping she had gotten as a third grader after trying red lipstick at school kept her from trying that again.

Pinching her cheeks for color, she was ready, dressed in her new red blouse and white skirt she had made in home economics.

Anticipating this 'blind date' Geri was wondering what Bobby would really be like.


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