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Teddy O. Curry
El Camino, Village, CA

A Rainy Night in Long Beach

In 1956 I was in the Navy and stationed aboard a ship and our home port was Long Beach, California. We anchored in the Los Angeles Harbor and when we went ashore there was a pier there that we called Magnolia Street Landing. It was located just west of the Pike where most of the sailors spent time in those days.

On one occasion in November of that year I was hanging out with three of my sailor chums and it was raining and cold. My best buddy and I decided to go in a café and have a cup of coffee. The other two sailors wanted to ride the roller coaster and said they would meet us at the café later. While we were drinking out coffee we got in a conversation with two girls that were also having coffee.

During our conversation the girls told us that they were waiting for two of their girlfriends and that they had gone to ride the roller coaster. In a few minutes our buddies walked in with the two girls.  We found out that the roller coaster was closed due to the rain and so no one was able to ride it. I just took it for granted that the other two sailors had started a conversation with them and escorted them back to the café.

Sometimes during the conversation it was decided that we would walk them to their car. One of the sailors was married and he said he had to leave. When we got to the car it was raining hard so we all piled into the car. Finally the girl that was driving said that she had to go home. She said that they lived in Inglewood and it was decided that we would ride with them.

I had no idea where Inglewood was because I had joined the Navy in Texas and had only been in Long Beach for a short time. The rain never let up and in-between all the smooching I could only see the glimmer of lights and had no idea where we were. This didn’t bother me because I knew we could get back to Long Beach and to the Breakers Hotel where we had rented a room earlier in the day.

When we got to our destination we got out of the car and two of the girls left and we ended up with two girls and three guys. My buddies had paired up with these girls so I was the odd man out. We went into a café named the Yum, Yum Burger and had coffee. I was to learn later that the girls lived south of Manchester on Sixth Avenue and the area was called Morningside Park.

After we finished our coffee we walked the girls to their house and since we were already drenched from the rain it was fun. When we got to the house one of the girls went in to ask if we could come in and dry off. As it turned out she didn’t have to tell us what the reply was because we all heard the mother say “no way”.

We walked back to Manchester and took a cab back to Long Beach. My buddy had been with my future wife that night and later I started dating her. She was fifteen at the time and I was nineteen. I was discharged from the Navy in Long Beach at the end of 1958 and two weeks before my twenty first birth day. I went to EL Camino Collage and after my girlfriend graduated from Morningside High School, she also attended the same school.  We dated until October 2, 1959 and on that date we became man and wife.

We raised three kids and never lived more than ten miles from where my wife lived when we first met. All three of my kids went to El Camino Collage after finishing High School. I finished my career at Hughes Aircraft a day before my fifty sixth birthdays and at that time Hughes was owned by General Motors. After I retired, my wife kept working for ten years and then she retired from Toyota. When I spoke of this to my friends about where my wife worked, I always said that she worked for the other car company.

In October of this year we will celebrate our fiftieth year of marital bliss and this all happened because of our chance meeting on a rainy night when I had to be talked into going on liberty. 




















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