("You'll never be a man, George. You'll always be just a little boy.")

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I Married The Old Maid
(author: George Harold Fulks)July 19, 2009

revised on February 28, 2010 by George Harold Fulks

Dedicated to Presidents George W. and George H. Bush and family

Where beauty lies is within the eyes of our beholder.A saying first appearing in the third century B.C. in Greek

As a child, playing the card game known as "Old Maid" could not be considered an amusement of choice for an eight year old boy. Winning at "Old Maid" was nearly impossible for me- an extremely difficult diversion for reason that my opponent was a beautiful girl from Des Moines, Iowa. When we played "Old Maid", she would seat herself in a chair directly in front of me, and her blue Irish eyes, for most of that time, would focus into mine. I was charmed right out of reality. She knew she could win against me at that cardgame. So pityful was I at "Old Maid" that I began to believe I'd never be married- an awful fate.

(She and I lived on Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in the state of Georgia.) While almost assured of losing, a slight embarrasment was a small thing to bare in exchange for her company and the love I felt for Margaret. That turned losing into a kind of glorious event. Any boy with sense at all would have straddled his bicycle and have taken a solo ride to Five Points Lake by skunks, cotton-tailed rabbits, raccoon, and wildcats. I should have gone fishing instead of playing games with her.

"You're so stupid, George"! That girl would exclaim. "You don't even pay attention to what you're doing! You're the dumbest boy I've ever seen"!

Winning at Chinese checkers and fiddlesticks posed no problem for me, Margaret Ann's viewmaster showed the Capitol Building in D.C.; and among those ancient negatives were Niagra Falls and the Empire State Building. (Later in life, I visited all those landmarks);but never completed viewing an entire disc. Her viewmaster would be stored away in a designated place and followed-up with a few songs on her phonograph. Then we'd be off on our bicycles into an adventure land. "Don't go too far or stay too long, now," her mother would say. We'd remain in the outdoors with our bikes until half of daylight was finished. We'd return to her home for rest, drink, and nourishment. Then we'd be off again onto the roads and into the wilderness. That adventuresome time with Margaret Ann continued-on for three years; except for her yearly visits with her grandmother and grandfather who lived and farmed in Iowa. What lonely times her absences were!

If that girl's company had been another female, she might have remained inside her home all day, but there were no girls her age in the close vicinity. The girl and I were in the wild for most of those times long ago.

No boys my age resided within four miles of my house, but I did have a few friends in Gray, Round Oak, and on the farms in Jones County. The girl was stuck with me until there was a "you go home now, George".

After that girl and I parted company forever, this writer bought his own set of "Old Maid" cards, removed the "Old Maid" from that deck and kept her image in a shirt pocket throughout my lifetime. It remains there to this day, but I'll get to that later.

During November of fifth grade, the year was 1951. Life suddenly changed for all of us at Five Points. My father, mother, and I were transferred to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The girl from Iowa and her mother and father were moved to Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge during January, 1952. (That refuge is near the Florida Panhandle). A couple of postcards were exchanged. Lacking significant content, those contained short messages ending with "your friend". Friend can mean: "Are you kidding me? The two of us lost contact completely. To my knowledge and recollection, we never encountered each other again, but those games of "Old Maid" left a permanent impression on this writer.

Most of the usual American life events came to pass. Among those were highschool graduation, entry into and completion of college followed with a three year enlistment in the U.S. Army. There was a brief tour of unemployment, but soon I found a good way to earn my living. However; one thing turned-out quite differently. Searching for a female bearing a resemblance to that character "the Old Maid" in the deck of a cardgame became an obsession. Each time I'd encounter a marriage-elgible female, I'd remove that one card from my shirt pocket and examine that young female carefully.

So fortunate as to have been assigned to special duty with an entertainment group while in the U.S. Army, our unit toured this nation and worldwide. There were tours of Canada, Mexico, Europe, and some of the Pacific Islands. We went as far as China, Japan, and Australia and were well- received.

The old maid card remained in a pocket of whatever shirt I was wearing. Then one day in 1964, my quest ended as two buddies and I used our armed forces liberty passes. Having two days rest and recreation, the three of us walked onto a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport. Stopping dead in my tracks, I spotted her. There she was walking along the beach- the old maid. My card and her were a perfect match.

My entire life changed.This writer, George Fulks, began to date and communicate by letter and phone with that girl- and did you know? She and I were married in 1965. She was good as a wife and woman as one could ever meet. I never had to hit-a-lick then. Hazel, the owner of three millionaire's mansions, was a lucky find. There's no telling how much her household furnishings were worth- the antiques and all of that. A fourth mansion was under construction. I guess that's finished now and full of fine furnishings. On top of that, Hazel provided for me a $10,000 monthly allowance. That was just spending money. I could never access her bank account to find-out how much money she was worth. That I never tried.

If she hadn't caught me sleeping on her 1724 love seat, I'd still be living with her. Anyway, I think so. Maybe my appearance had something to do with her throwing me out. That might have been the reason. I don't look too good; even in a suit and tie.

Here on Pompano Beach in Fort Lauderdale, it' a cold day in February 2010. Here a man can find plenty of expensiive cigars- thrown down and just half smoked. Out of the corner of an eye, I just watched a woman toss what's nearly a whole burger into a garbage disposal unit.

While watching television through a restaurant window last night, there were Presidents George Bush and William Clinton on a loveseat like Hazel's. There they were sitting comfortably on a thing just like the one Hazel caught me sleeping on; and wearing $200 suits and ties, the two were. Must surely be nice.

Hazel's biscuits were every-bit as tasty as were Grandmother's, and her cakes were absolutely scrumpous. I'm not kidding you.

Last modified on March 12, 2010 by George Harold Fulks

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