Karl Boyd, Author & Storyteller

 

Short Stories

This section is devoted to a selection of short stories written by Karl Boyd over the last 20 years. They show the growth of Karl the author and storyteller, as well as giving you a glimpse into the many life experiences he has had. I will change the story presented periodically. Past highlighted stories can be found in the list to the right title Short Story Collection.

Enjoy! Please tell me what you think on my blog - Karl's Korner.

My Mother-In-Law – The S. O. B.

     I first met my future mother-in-law, Bea, in the early morning of April 17, 1957, in the town of Urbana, Illinois.  As I drove up to her home, she emerged from the front door and checked the mailbox by the door.

     At the time, I was in the United States Air Force, (USAF), currently stationed at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

     I had traveled to Illinois to pick up a new automobile from my parents.  I say a “new” automobile in that it was new to me.  It was actually a 1954 Cadillac.

     A few days prior to meeting Bea, I signed my life away by re-enlisting for six more years.  I liked the way of life and decided to make the Air Force my career.  With the re-enlistment bonus I received, I bought the aforementioned vehicle.

     In December of the previous year, I met Bea’s daughter, Carol, when she in-processed to the base in Massachusetts.  Carol was a recent enlistee in the Women’s Air Force (WAF), and had completed her formal training to become an Administrative Specialist.

     At the time, I was working in the base locator.  We maintained a file of everyone assigned to Westover AFB, answered inquiries concerning their duty station and furnished phone numbers to anyone seeking to find them.

     Everyone who was assigned to the base was required to process through our office upon arrival.  That’s how I met Carol.

     She walked in and I thought she was a great looking young lady.  She was 18 years old, a brunette, with grey eyes, great legs; had a slim figure and was well endowed.

     I discovered she was from my home state.  I was born in the small town of Bartonville.  She came from Urbana.

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     During the next few months, Carol and I often met, talked and flirted with each other at work.  The base locator was moved across the street, and she and I wound up across the hall from each other.  We began dating in February of 1957.

     Since I didn’t own a car, we didn’t go many places.  We stayed on the base, attended a few movies together and spent a lot of time at the Base Exchange Cafeteria.  We would drink Cokes; listen to the latest music on a jukebox and talk.

     Then, I decided to re-enlist.  I told Carol of my decision and that I was going to Illinois to pick up the Cadillac.  She asked me to stop by her mother’s house and pick up some of her civilian clothes.  I agreed, and so, here I was, meeting her mother, Bea.

     By the time I reached her door and introduced myself, Bea had opened a letter from Carol and was reading it.

     “Hi,” I said.  “My name is Karl Boyd.  I’m a friend of Carol’s.  She asked me to stop by and pick up some clothes.”

     “Yes,” she replied.  “I was just reading about you in her letter.”

     She held out the letter and I read the first couple of lines.  Carol had written:

     “Dear Mother, I have met the man I’m going to marry.  His name is Karl Boyd and…”

     “Whoa!” I thought.  I glanced at Bea and she had a big smile on her face.

     “What are your intentions toward my daughter, young man?” she asked.

     “Hey, lady,” I said, “I just re-enlisted for six years.  I don’t have any intentions, period!”

     Bea laughed and said, “Come on in.  The box of clothes is just inside the door.”

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     I took the carton, loaded it into the car and beat a hasty retreat.  Man what a surprise!  I couldn’t wait to get to Massachusetts and ask Carol what she thought she was doing.

     It turned out she knew exactly what she was talking about.  We were married June 1, 1957.  Bea and my mother, Nan, flew to Massachusetts for the wedding.

     But, I was talking about my mother-in-law, the S. O. B.

     I believe this would be a good time to tell you that in this case, S. O. B. stands for Sweet Old Broad.  That’s what I called Bea, and that’s what she was – one very sweet old broad.

     Bea and her husband, Ralph separated and divorced when Carol was a junior in high school.  Besides my wife, Bea gave birth to three other girls, Diana, Judy and Linda.

     Bea was a dedicated mother.  She worked three jobs for many years to support her four daughters.  She was employed as a secretary during the day, a waitress at night and did any other odd jobs she could to make money.

     In addition to the long hours, she would come home, clean the house, wash and iron the girl’s clothes and always made sure they were “presentable” by inspecting them every morning before they left for school.

     Carol says she remembers her mother ironing and listening to the popular radio show, “Inner Sanctum”.

     She was a proud lady and maintained her figure through self discipline and control.  She taught the girls these values and my wife continues to emulate her mother to this day.

     Judy was married to a young man named Danny shortly after Carol and I were married.  They live in Effingham, Illinois.

     Diana married several years later to a man named Jim.  They had two fine boys who were the apple of their grandmother’s eye.

     Linda is married to a Pastor from the Philippines.  She lives in a small village there and serves as a missionary for her church.  They have adopted two children and her husband, Ver, has two children from his first marriage.

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     Carol and I had two children:  Carla and Kristopher.  I went on to complete my 20 years in the USAF and retired in 1975.  When Carol became pregnant with Carla, she was discharged from the Air Force. 

     In l978, Carol joined the Air Force Reserve and retired in 1998 as a Master Sergeant, the same rank I attained.

     Carla followed me into the USAF and recently retired as a Master Sergeant.  I jokingly claim since my “date of rank” is the earliest, I am the ranking NCO in the family.  We all know who rules the roost.

     Over the years, we spent our “vacations” visiting with my parents and with Bea.  She re-married, to a man named Claude, and was very happy for the remainder of her life.  Our kids loved their grandmother and we fondly remember the days they shared with Bea.

     Bea and I shared a bond though our continual kidding with each other.  She was sharp as a tack and we enjoyed each other’s company.

     Toward the end of her life, Bea was afflicted with Dementia, but she didn’t let it slow her down.  We had a lot of laughs over her affliction.

     Two of these incidents I remember well:

     The first one was when she phoned to ask me for our telephone number.     

         (Think about it for awhile – you’ll get it!)

     The second was one evening while we were visiting.  At five minute intervals, forgetting she had asked me previously, she would ask me if I wanted a cup of coffee.  I kept telling her, “No thanks, Bea.”

     Then, I waited until I thought she was about to ask me again and asked, “What’s a guy got to do to get a cup of coffee around here, Bea?”

     Our S. O. B. passed on one night and I believe she went out the way she would have liked to.  She was dancing with her youngest grandson at a wedding reception.  They returned to their table, and Bea sat down and keeled over.

     She died early the next morning and we miss her still.  God Bless you, Bea!  

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Short Story Collection

True Competitor
Ballad of Billy Bob & Bubba
Grandmother & the Wicked Witch
To Kill or Not to Kill; That is The Question
Frank's New Boat
My Island in the Sun
George and the "Thunderbolt"
Honesty is the Best Policy!

 


Award Winner for
"The Nearly Perfect Plan"

 


Member of the Military Writers Society of America

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