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Vickie, our youngest, was born in the new Medical Center of Middle Georgia. The old Macon Hospital where Michael and I were born had been torn down to make room for the new Center. She was born on December 5, 1957, not quite two years after Michael and a little over a month shy of my twenty first birthday.

We were living at this time in a unfinished two roomed shack made from old lumber. I had bought it and an acre of land for $500. Francine hated the place and referred to it as “God’s Little Acre.” I told her it would work out, a promise I was to make many times in our first 25 years of marriage. It had no windows and had a tarpaper roof and tarpaper sides. There was electricity but no running water.

There was nothing finished on the inside and with a new baby and winter coming, I knew I had to do something. I didn’t have money to buy sheetrock so I went to Snows Funeral Home and obtained discarded coffin boxes which were 4’ x 8’ like sheetrock. I nailed it on the inside when I wallpapered with scrap wallpaper I had. It looked good and substantial unless you felt of it.

It was into this house Vickie was brought from the hospital. That first spring, when she was just a few months old, there came a heavy rainstorm. The roof was still only tarpapered and we were in the other room from Vickie when we heard a loud noise. We ran in to find Vickie laying in her baby bed covered with water. The roof had leaked right above the bed and the cardboard and wallpaper held the water until the weight caused it to empty right on Vickie. Luckily she was none the worse for her experience.

Not very long after that we bought another unfinished house across the road. This house was like a mansion in comparison to the other one. We lived there several years and while Francine tolerated it better she still said she was living in God’s Little Acre Country.

Vickie was a poor student. I still have her first grade report card with all the comments from her teacher. “It’s not that she is not smart” said one, “she just wants to do only what she wants to do.” This pretty well set the tone for the rest of her grammar school and high school years.

Vickie was in the Girl Scouts and went to Camp Martha Johnson in Crawford County. This camp adjoined the farm I grew up on. I still have letters she wrote us from camp. They were very funny.



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