Thursday, October 08, 2015

After the Honeymoon

After our honeymoon in Colorado, Judy and I spent a week or so with her parents and then went up to Denton, Texas, to look for an apartment.  I was going to be in grad school starting the second six weeks of the summer session, and Judy was going to look for a job.

As usual, we knew nothing much about finding a place to live.  We looked at the ads in the local newspaper, the Denton Record-Chronicle, known to many wits as the Wretched-Chronicle, and found an ad for an apartment that looked great to me, mainly because the rent was $50 a month.  Judy expressed a bit of apprehension, but I said, "How bad could it be?"  Well, we found out.

The woman who owned the apartment, which was actually a closed-off section of an old house, was Mrs. Luker.  She took us to the place and let us in.  The first thing Judy noticed was the large hole in the bedroom floor.  It was pretty hard to miss.  I asked about it, and Mrs. Luker said that it really wasn't too bad.  She hadn't had any complaints about animals getting into the house.  I thought that sounded good.  Especially for $50 a month.  Judy looked at me as if I'd lost my mind.  She said there was no way we were going to live in that place.  I hadn't been married long, but I'd already learned who was running the show, as I've mentioned previously.  So I told Mrs. Luker we'd have to look elsewhere.


As it happened, Mrs. Luker also had an apartment house that she said had fairly nice accommodations.  It was only two blocks from the campus, but it was $80 a month, and we'd have to pay the electricity.  Judy said that was fine and that we'd be happy to take a look.  I've mentioned the address before, 308 Normal Street. (The old name of the current University of North Texas was North Texas Normal College, so the name had nothing to do with normality.)  

This place was much more to Judy's liking, so I bit the bullet and said it was fine with me, too.  We had a second floor apartment, and it had the biggest closet of any place we ever lived.  Judy loved it.  We had room for all our clothes, and also all the boxes we'd used to pack the things we moved in with.

There was one catch.  The apartment had just been vacated and hadn't been cleaned.  Mrs. Luker said that if we'd clean it, she'd give is the first month's rent.  As you can guess, I jumped at that opportunity.  Judy didn't mind, either.  The place was a mess, and we earned our money.  Those of you who knew Judy will believe me when I say that when we moved out, the place didn't need cleaning.

The picture is of Judy standing outside our front door on the balcony.  We lived there for just over one year and were very happy in most ways.  Judy got a job, and she wasn't thrilled with that.  If I get around to it, I'll tell that story one of these days.

12 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Another great story. More!

Jeff

Daniel Stumpf said...

A fine warm tale. I'm sure it will remind others of that weird, awkward/wonderful first year of marriage, as it did me.

Deb said...

It's amazing how much we used to leave to "we'll just check something out in the paper" and go from there. After college, I got on a plane and flew on a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. I knew exactly one person who lived there and I didn't have enough money for a car and rent, so I found a roommate and rode the bus for 18 months. I'd have a heart attack if one of my kids wanted to go that unprepared into the world today...although it all worked out for me.

That's a pretty picture of Judy...and I sure hope you're collecting all these vignettes with an eye to future publication.

Richard R. said...

Ah, a wonderful reminiscence. Yes, that's the way things were, you looked in the paper, found an apartment, went to look at it, sometimes dickered on the rent. Not even a first-last-and cleaning deposit in those days. I sure hope we get many more of these in the future.

Deb, I'll bet that was pretty exciting for you. It would probably still work today, except the apartment hunting would involve a computer.

Ed Gorman said...

Those of you who knew Judy will believe me when I say that when we moved out, the place didn't need cleaning.

My favorite line. What a beautiful piece, Bill.

James Reasoner said...

Wonderful story as always. I looked for an apartment in Denton the same way. I remember sitting in a drugstore phone booth (the real kind, with a door that closed) with a copy of the newspaper, making calls about apartments.

Keep spinning these yarns. I always enjoy them.

Bradley Denton said...

Thank you, Bill! I loved this. (And it resonated with my memories of my & Barb's early married life, too.)

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thank you for sharing these...wonderful memories.

Mimi Wolske said...

True stories are the best when they're told by a good teller of tales -- great story, Bill, because it reminded me of when I married a young air force lieutenant and we had to find a place to live in smallville Rantoul, Illinois :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now I need to know is there a section before this one? I'm looking for weddings and dating stories. And how you met.

Bill Crider said...

Maybe I should tell how we met, or let Judy tell it. She wrote it down in our wedding book, I believe.

Bill Crider said...

Took me a second to remember that I've done that already. I'll post it again.