Left to right: Irene Gailey Stone, Raymond Stone,We lived on the base at Ft. Knox in an apartment and since Raymond was a supply Sergeant we furnished our apartment with G.I. cots and chairs. The Army furnished the stove and refrigerator. Linda Kay had a baby buggy which she slept in. Another couple moved in with us since we had two bedrooms. They were Elinore and Sully Sullivan. They were from Ohio. He was also a Sergeant. We stayed there about three months and then Raymond's and Sully's outfits were moved to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. So instead of going back to Texas, Elinore asked me to go to Ohio and spend two weeks with her family and Sully's family while the boys found us a place in North Carolina. Elinor and I went to Columbus and spent a week with Sully's family. They were wonderful people and thought Linda Kay was about it. They took care of her the whole time we were there and called her Linda Lou. We then went on to Cleveland and spent a week with Elinor's parents. They were wonderful to us, too; however, Sully had called Elinor and told her not to come down to North Carolina for some reason, so I took Linda and we went on a bus to North Carolina.
Maedelle Gailey, Leon Richards, and Vernelle Gailey Richards
Taken about 1944
Maedelle Gailey, Leon Richards, and Vernelle Gailey Richards
Taken about 1944
We had an apartment in Dunn, North Carolina, where we lived about another three months. Then Raymond's outfit was sent to Camp Cook, California, and three other soldiers' wives were going on to California so I rode as far as Texas with them. I stayed with Mother and Daddy and then Raymond wrote and wanted me to come out to California and stay for a couple of weeks because he was fixing to go overseas. So I packed my bags and Mother made me a belt to wear under my clothes to keep my money in. I went to Millsap and caught the train and I left Linda with Mother.
I sat in the seat with a girl whose home was in the state of Washington. She had been in Mineral Wells to be with her husband. He had been sent overseas so she was going back home. Two sailors were sitting across from us, and of course, we all got acquainted. The train was full with all the military going different places and when we got to Los Angeles we had to change trains to go north. No one could get on but military and their spouses. We didn't know what we were going to do; but the sailors who had ridden with us asked if we would like to be their wives until we got on the train, so that was how we got on the train. The train was so crowded I had to stand all the way to Camp Cook and I never saw this girl and the sailors again.
This was Thanksgiving of 1944, so the next day we went to the mess hall and had Thanksgiving dinner. After I had been there a little over a week Raymond got a three-day pass and we went to Las Angeles and spent three days. We rented a car and took in the sights. We went to Santa Monica Beach and rode the rides - even the roller coaster, which I was getting on. I was scared to death and every time we went to the top we could see the ocean. We then went to see Harry James and his orchestra and danced.
Raymond put me on the train to come back to Texas and I was heartbroken, knowing he was on his way overseas. I went back to Linda Kay and Mother and Daddy and stayed with them while Raymond was away. That Christmas Mother and Daddy were going to Oklahoma to spend Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma Puckett, so they took me by the Stone's in Walters, Oklahoma, where they had moved from Temple. When we returned to Mineral Wells after Christmas I looked in the mail and I had Raymond's last will and testament that he had made when he went overseas. My heart broke; it was just like he was already dead.
Raymond was in a train wreck in La Harve, France, and they had so many dead and injured they had to wait for replacements from the states before they could go into combat. I guess the good Lord knew how much I needed Raymond to look after me; he has always taken care of me and I don't know what I would do without hi, even after 45 years. Raymond was only in combat about 12 or 14 days before the Germans surrendered. Then he was sent home for a thirty-day furlough before going to the Far East. He called from Ft. Sam Houston and asked me to meet him in Fort Worth so we could be together before he came on home. I waited until about one o'clock the next morning and he didn't come. The man at the bus station told me there wouldn't be another bus until the next morning, so I went to my Aunt's and spent the night and then went back to the bus station the next morning. I still didn't find Raymond so I took the first bus back to Mineral Wells. The bus broke down at Cool and several of us caught a ride home. Had I waited for the next bus Raymond would have been on it. Needless to say, I was happy to see him. He was home for 30 days on leave then he had to report to San Antonio. He was to go to the Pacific, but the Japanese surrendered that day so he didn't have to go back into the war. He was sent back to North Carolina and they started letting soldiers out by the number of points they had. He had enough points to get out and he returned home in October of 1945. Our life started over and Linda Kay was about 19 months old. She was sure glad her Dad was home!
We decided we would move to Wichita Falls, Texas, where we could be between our parents. Mr. and Mrs. Stone lived in Walters, Oklahoma, and of course, my parents lived in Mineral Wells, Texas.
Raymond got a job at General Mills. We bought an old '39 Chevy, two-door car. We lived there for about 6 months. We decided we would move to Walters or Mineral Wells. Raymond said we should move to Mineral Wells, that way we wouldn't be on the road all the time! Raymond bought a dump truck like my dad and hauled gravel and dirt. Later bought another one. We moved into a house out at Elmhurst, which was a housing project the Government had built, and a lot of veterans moved there after the war.
In 1947, September 14, we had a little boy born, but he was dead when he came. We were heartbroken.
Raymond & Irene Gailey Stone - Circa 1990
I was raised in the Baptist Church but Raymond had been raised in the Church of Christ. In 1948 he found the little church in the Community of Sturdivant and started going there to church and was baptized. I continued to go to the Parker Street Baptist Church but would go with him some of the time. In 1949 I became pregnant again and on March 25, 1950, we had another little boy. He was like Linda Kay when he was born - long, red, wrinkled and ugly (we named him Reginald Ray and he was called Reggie). But neither of them were ugly long. They turned out to be beautiful children. There was 6 years difference in their ages. We had moved into Mother and Daddy's house on Southwest 2nd Street since they had moved to Lubbock. We lived here when Reggie was born. Reggie was an adorable baby and laughed a lot; but he sure cried a lot at night. We would take turns rocking him. Don't know if he had the colic or was just spoiled. We sure gave him a lot of paregoric.
Raymond went to work for Norwood Manufacturing and worked there for quite a long time. In 1950, shortly after Reggie was born, I obeyed the Gospel and was baptized and we continued to go to Sturdivant. In 1951 the Church at Sturdivant built a church in town and we started going to church there since we lived in town. We went to church here and both of the children became members when they were older. Raymond became an Elder and we still go to the same church to this day and suppose we will always go to the same one for as long as we live.
In 1952 Raymond went to work for Civil Service and worked for 28 years at Ft. Walters. When Ft. Walters closed in 1974, counting his Army time of 5 years, he was able to retire with about 33 years.
My sister, Vernelle, and her husband, Leon Richards, had three little girls, Judith Gail, Peggy Joy, and Angela Vernelle who we called Ann. When Ann was one month old, Vernelle and Leon were divorced and they left the two older girls with Mother and Daddy and we took Ann because Mother and Daddy were getting older and Mother couldn't take care of a baby. So Vernelle asked us if we would take her while she hunted for work. So we had a beautiful little redheaded girl who was born April 4, 1954. Reggie was 4 years older. We loved this baby just as much as we did our other children. We loved all three of these children, but having Ann with us all the time, we felt she was our own. Their father visited them often but their Mother finally moved to California and she finally married again to Eddy Rowbury, who was in the Air Force. So the children didn't see their Mother for long periods of time.
When Ann was three her Daddy came to us and wanted her to be raised with the other girls and since we couldn't do anything about it, she went to live with Mother and Daddy. But we always tried to help with the girls as much as we could. Ann will always be ours, even now she is like our own child and she thinks of me as her Mother. I often wish I could have done more for these girls, they were such good kids and we love them so much.
In 1955 we bought the place where we now live which has been 34 years.
Written in her hand 1989
Edna Irene Gailey Stone