The Grahams’ of Cochran County – Chapter 69
Scenes from the Canyon with friends shows people that I know from 66 years ago.
I cannot remember the young lady in the picture wading with me. The ones in the middle picture, I remember well except for the young lady in black. What I will tell you is that Rachel Maynard married Gaylord Cook and Charles Graham Married Johnnie Pavlovsky therefore these photo’s are historic in that aspect. Gaylord Cook passed away several years ago. He became a Gospel Preacher and was very good at the profession. My wife Johnnie passed away after nearly 64 years of marriage to me (Charles Graham).
Buddy Wilson had a long career as a professor of accounting at several universities and he an Mary Jane now live in the Houston area. I still keep in touch with the Wilsons and with Rachel Cook.
A lot of our activities extended into the fall semester as well. There became more restrictions on what I could do because I was making applications to Medical Schools and studying for the IMCAT (Medical School Entrance Exam).
Johnnie was doing some practice teaching and after I proposed to her we were trying to figure out where we would be living after we got married and went on to Med School (If I got accepted). During the fall semester of 1954 I was still taking about 22 hours including subjects that Amarillo College offered. Walt Byrd was on the same schedule I was because of catch up and he was married with 5 kids. One of his children was deaf so he wanted to go to Tulane Medical School near a deaf school that could help his son. I sent out 5 applications which included UT Southwestern; UT Galveston: Baylor in Houston; Tulane and an Osteopathic School in Missouri.
As the end on the semester was nearing a close I wanted to solidify my relationship with Johnnie. We had patched things up pretty well after my fiasco with some of her correspondence. One morning on December 9, 1954 were sitting in a boring chapel and neither of us had afternoon classes so I surprised her with a whisper “lets go get married”. She said ‘lets do it”. After Chapel we went to Amarillo and purchased a ring for her and a matching ring for me and took off for Tucumcari, New Mexico. We took of to New Mexico because they did not have a waiting period on getting married. Texas has a 3 day waiting period and the whole world would be notified. We would have been kicked out of our dorms if the powers that be knew we were married so we kept this very secret.
In Tucumcari, after we got out marriage license, Johnnie was looking in the phone directory for a Church of Christ preacher who could tie the knot. The preachers name was Roy Willingham. She knew Roy from his days at West Texas State. She said we would have to find another preacher. We started driving south to Clovis, New Mexico and before we arrived there lo and behold we were going through a small community of Melrose, New Mexico. We notice that there was a car parked outside the church. I went to the door of the parsonage and knocked. The preacher opened the door and asked how I could help. He asked all the questions like were we of age etc. He then called his wife from the house next door and an elder who lived near by and they witnessed the ceremony.
Needless to say we did not have time for a long Honey Moon but there was a cheep motel in Clovis and we were very hungry so we got baloney and cheese and bread and made a delicious honey moon meal. We then had this short time in the bed and cleaned up and headed back to Canyon so we could get back before curfew. I think one of Johnnie’s friends noticed that there was an extra ring on her finger and asked her about it. She swore this friend to secrecy. I put my ring in a safe place until the semester was over.
Walt Byrd and I had several interviews set up and he had the better transportation so we left from the Christmas Vacation and went to the interviews.
Next Chapter: Breaking the news