on getting married during wartime

Franklin: We got married, we had nowhere to go, no money to go with.  And she was 19 and I was 20, and we lived with my mother and father for five years.  Then we moved down here and been here ever since.  On a farm.

Lee: What year were you all married?

Audrey: ’43.

Lee: ’43.  During World War II?

Audrey: Mm-hmm.  And we got married on Christmas Day.  Don’t never do that.  Everybody said, “Why did you get married on Christmas Day?”  And Franklin said, “That was the only day I could get off.”

Lee: Is that true?

Franklin: That’s about the truth, ’cause … it was from daybreak to sundown, six days a week, and the next day you were at church, every Sunday, unlike it is today.

Everett: Back in them days, you didn’t have electricity.  Had no radio.

Franklin: No.

Everett: You just ate and worked and went to bed.

Franklin: I remember the first speech I ever heard on a radio was when Roosevelt declared war.

Everett: Do you remember where you were?

Franklin: Huh?

Everett: Do you remember where you were when they bombed Pearl Harbor?

Franklin: The school.

Everett: No, I’m talking about the day he made the speech – we were over on Chincoteague.  That was on Saturday.  … We were over there on Chincoteague, went over there  to get something.  Stopped there at the store, and there was a radio going. We didn’t have a radio then.  No, I guess we did have one by then.

Franklin: I was thinking about that remark. …  I’ll think about it after a while.

Audrey: Our first TV we got was in 1952.  That was when our last son was born. We got this TV, and I was tickled to death.  I come home from the hospital, and a TV was sitting in the corner.  When we first got married, it was wartime.  And we, of course, wanted furniture and I wanted a living room suite – it had no springs in it.  And I got one table for the dining room, and that table went like a swayback mule.  It just done like that.  It was no good. All those things we wanted,  they weren’t worth buying.  But we bought ’em and made out with it.  I think we were happier than today, more than a lot of young ones are.  We didn’t have a whole lot, but we enjoyed ourselves.

Franklin: What do they call them?  Now people call them the “good old days”, but they weren’t so good.  They were rough.

Audrey: We had to work for them.

Franklin: Twelve, thirteen, fifteen hours a day.

from an interview with Franklin &  Audrey Holland and Everett Holland, fall 2009.

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2 Comments

Filed under economy, technology, world war II

2 responses to “on getting married during wartime

  1. Wendy Martin

    How is Everett Holland related to them? Franklin’s brother?

    • Everett and Franklin are brothers, two of five who farmed together. No sisters, so their older brother William sometimes got drafted to help their mom in the house.

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