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The Cracked Acorn

The Cracked Acorn: Gloria

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My wife was born October 08, 1939 to Alfred and Doris Schaffner. Albany, New York. Gloria had a sister, Dottie. They lived at 25 Garden Street. Schools and shopping were within walking distance. Their father finally bought a 1954 Mercury.  There was lots of aunts and uncles nearby.

Gloria was a guard on the high school basketball team.  She was always very athletic and after we were married had her bike in the garage and bar bells to lift. When she graduated from high school, she decided to join the Marine Corps and also a friend wanted go with her.  At the train station, her friend never showed, so she went on to the Marine base.  Gloria never had a license to drive. She rode trains and Trailway buses.  She did this for 3 and half years while in the Marine Corps.

Gloria Van Arsdall

We met through a Social Club; we wrote letters.  Today, that would all be on the internet. At that time she and another former lady Marine were living in an apartment in D.C.  This was when Martin Luther King was killed.

Well, what about the Marine Corps: Gloria said that on the first night several of the new recruits cried and cried and went home the next day.  I think she like the training.  She said the Drill Instructor (D.I.) could shout in her face all day, it never bothered her!  They did a lot of drilling and marched in many parades, even in July in wool uniforms and said the Marines were the only ones that knew how to salute.  They were given chances to shop at New Bern, she liked this.

Gloria worked in clothing.  She often told that it closed at 5 o’clock.  If officers showed at one minute after 5, she would point to the sign CLOSED AT 5. She never opened, no matter how long they banged on the door.

Thru the years: we adopted two boys now out in society saving the world, Gloria  kept a long prayer list, sent  encouragements to church members, made telephones calls and helped when needs arose.

She can’t do that now- in long term nursing care.

Ancient documents tell us of a trumpet made to sound clearly when blown and take action.  For us Christians it will be a motion to go home. Please; don’t burden yourself with the possessions of this world, travel light, be ready, because I have given you  a warning the gate to heaven may be CLOSED at 5, prepare to be there and on time, Gloria will be there and she likes people to obey the sign!

To Canaan’s land I’m on my way. Where the soul (of man) never dies. My darkest night will turn to day.

No sad farewells, no tear dimmed eyes, where all is love and the soul never dies. (John 6:50)

Crossing the bridge to church one Sunday morning, in two lanes, the outer lane had a truck with the Marine Corps sticker… I blew the horn and pointed to Gloria…they saluted each other , SEMPER FI.

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