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  • Dr. Susan Rose

1985: Leaving the NAVY

For Valentine’s Day this year, you sent flowers as you always did. But, you also took me to the Ice Capades in Capital Centre.

The biggest thing that happened this year is that you had decided not to re-enlist, so we were getting out of the NAVY. I gave my notice to Dowell and Dowell in February to allow time for them to hire and for me to help transition and train. They were very gracious even though I had been there less than two years. They took me out to eat and gave me a bracelet as a good-bye gift.

You had 30 days leave, so we were able to leave Arlington on June 1 even though your last day was officially June 30. This was good, because you would still be paid through June and neither of us had a job yet. Even though we had put out applications within 180 miles of Ashland for several months, no jobs had transpired yet. So, we decided to settle in Louisville as the largest city in Kentucky for two reasons: (1) More opportunity for jobs, especially in IT as it was a new field at the time, and (2) We’d have a better chance of our children staying close when they grew up. Now, remember that these children hadn’t been born yet, but we were planning.

The NAVY came and packed up our furniture and delivered it to our apartment on Brownsboro Road. We stayed with Charlie and Mary for a few days when we first arrived, and they helped us select an apartment. We felt like we were really moving up now, because the cost of living in Louisville was so much less than Arlington. For about the same cost of our one bedroom in Arlington, we could now get a two bedroom – with air conditioning. Woo-hoo!

And, within less than two weeks after our arrival in Louisville, I got a job with Arthur Young – one of the “Big 8” accounting firms at the time. At about this same time, you were hired with Dairymen. You went the first night for orientation, but no one showed up to orient you. This happened for the next two nights, and you decided this company was just too disorganized to be a good fit for you. We had trusted God this far and continued to follow his leading. We talked often about how that was such a good decision as LG&E came along soon. So, by the end of June, we were secure in Louisville with jobs. We were convinced that was God.

One funny thing that I remember from this Summer is that you decided to have a yard sale with the stuff we had from Arlington and no longer needed. Now, remember, we were living in an interior apartment with no yard. Yet, because of your out-going personality and interpersonal skills, we did pretty well. I had teased and razzed you about this little escapade the whole time and was quite surprised when you proved me wrong.

Fall brought the end to my Grandpa Rardon’s life on September 29, 1985. We went with the rest of the family to Ravenswood, West Virginia for the funeral. We were the first to arrive as the others had farther to drive. The Riggs were coming from New York; the Earl Rardons from South Carolina, and the Edlers from Ohio. As the Edlers were coming in, you said to Dad, “Carl, here comes your sister.” You had never met Lois but she looked just like me. I thought it was funny that you recognized her right away.

Fall also brought Thanksgiving. We were now about 2 1/2 hours from Ashland, so we went there to celebrate. And, we returned to Ashland for Christmas for the traditional festivities.

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