Mixsonian Barbara and Morris

Shock of Her Life

In the letter Morris continues that he is in the navy again, well almost, he has to report in Jacksonville to take a physical and get further orders on the 20th of September and follows with, “Guess that lets us out on getting married as you are in St. Pete.  Don’t guess it was ever meant to be us to be married anyway.“  Barbara was crushed, the reread that first part again not believing what she read.  Morris continued, “Your folks don’t want us to be married either.  I just got back from Jimmie’s and he said I’d better not ever go back down there if I didn’t want to get blessed out.” and that he wouldn’t marry if her if he didn’t get along with her parents.   But he did love her “but can’t marry you under present conditions. It just wouldn’t work out.” Making it worse, Morris asks for the engagement ring back and asks if she could send it before the first of the month so he wouldn’t have to make another payment on it.  Barbara was crushed, she was so proud of her ring and had shown everyone at school and she couldn’t tell everyone she had to give it back.   Morris was hurting too writing, “Just remember I would marry you but there’s too much against it.  I guess I wasn’t made to be happy and to be by myself is good sometimes but other times its lonely.”  Barbara’s eyes were so filled with tears by this time she could hardly read anymore but Morris gives her a way out in the postscript saying, “Darling the only way you can have me back is to quit school and then I guess you’ll have to come see me.

To make the whole letter more poignant, Morris wrote the letter on the back of a letter from the University’s Director of Non-Academic Personal, subject: Armed Services.  The letter request information about previous military service and draft status and what subject they could teach or services the person could render to the University in case of a national emergency which would allow the person to avoid being drafted, but Morris had no such skills.

After sobbing her heart out for quite some time, Barbara writes back to Morris,  “That was the shock of my life, every time she reads the letter all I do is cry, but I was glad for I know you still love me and I know I love you.”   She tells him not go in the Navy, “limp to the physical exam or do something, make them not take you. Tell them of your bad leg.”, which Morris didn’t have. She tells Morris that she would call but all she has is one penny.  She will take the bus home if she her mom and dad would send her some money.  And about the ring, “I will return the ring if you want me to, but I am gonna try and talk you into letting me keep it.  Honey you don’t know how much that ring has helped me since I’ve been here. I make believe it is you. Darling please don’t take it away.”  She signs it “Your November wife, Barbara

In the following days Barbara would start to cry every time she thought about Morris which was just about all the time.  She couldn’t eat, sleep or study and so decided to go talk to Dr. Watson the president and her father’s friend and after she explained the situation to him, he told her to pray about it for a week but after a few days she felt no better and with her class work slipping, she went to Dr. Watson again who then called her mom and dad and told them it was the right thing for Barbara to go home.  

After getting the call from Dr. Watson, Fred and Waive discuss it and decide that Barbara should come home and marry Morris.  It’s not what Fred wanted for his daughter, she was always smart, and he  wanted her to go to Bible college and perhaps go into the mission work, but she was so unhappy he decided it wasn’t meant to be.  The Mixson’s didn’t have a phone so they next evening Fred and Waive drove over to the Mixson’s house to talk to Morris.   Morris sure was surprised when they showed up.

Morris picks up Barbara

The following Saturday, on a rainy afternoon, one of the girls at school called out to Barbara to come out on the porch, that her parents’ car was out front. When the window rolled down Barbara saw it was Morris driving and her mother in the seat next to him and she and Morris fell into each other’s arms and kissed and kissed and she cried and cried.  Her mother said, “That’s enough. I guess you can come home and get married.

Barbara returned with Morris and her mother and began making plans for the wedding.  There wasn’t time to plan a wedding for November 1st as they planed so Morris said, “We’ll work out something so we can be married the 1st of December and please Honey let’s not change it this time.” One of the things they hadn’t worked out was where to live after they got married.  For the next several weekends they would travel into Gainesville looking at apartments but they only thing they could find were either run down or too expensive or both when one day Morris was talking with his friend Billy telling him all about how he and Barbara wanting to get married but not having enough money for an apartment.  Billy was working at the Printing Shop at the University at that time and he and Betty had just bought a small two-bedroom house on N.E. 8th Street, which they paid $50 down payment on.  Hearing Morris and Barbara’s problem, Billy asked Betty what she thought about Morris and Barbara staying with them. Having no furniture in the second bedroom, Betty they said if they got a bed Morris and Barbara could live with them.  Later that week Barbara asks if he could come to her house on Friday, she will have dinner ready at 6 P.M and Morris could call her at her parents new phone at 413 Green. At this time, you would pick up the receiver and tell the operator the number you wanted to call and a word that was the area, in this case Green, and the operator would connect you.  Upon arriving for dinner, Morris told Barbara about the conversation with Billy, and she was delighted.

In October Jimmy and Sue came over to the Juniors and that evening they played a game of Canasta with Barbara and Jimmy as partners against her mom and Sue.  Barbara and Jimmy easily won beating her mom and Sue by 2000 points.  Barbara and Morris would continue playing cards all their lives playing Canasta for many years, Rook for a few years and then Texas Canasta in later years.  After many years with Barbara and Morris partnered against Betty and Billy, Barbara decided she couldn’t take any of Morris’s complaining about how she played and from then on it was Barbara and Betty against Morris and Billy.  Morris was till playing at the age of 93 and in one game of Texas Canasta beat Sue, Jim, Corky by 6,000 points!

Barbara, and most all the family, didn’t sleep well that night for Sue and Jimmy’s son Danny cried all night, her mother also was sick, and Sue got real mad at Jimmy because he wouldn’t wake up and help with the baby.  The next morning Barbara got up and made breakfast, but no one got up to eat it.  When Sue finally did get up she just left the baby to cry so Barbara took the baby and quieted him down so he wouldn’t wake up their mother.  Barbara told Morris, “Everything is a mess. Goodness I’ll be glad when we get married or when Sue & James leave.”  The following Saturday Barbara had her parents drop her off in Micanopy where Morris was waiting for her and the went to see Betty and Billy’s house.  That afternoon the four of them went to the football game which Florida played Auburn beating them 27 to 7. 

On November 1st Barbara writes, “Do you realize that exactly one month from tonight we’ll be married?”, and over then next couple of weeks was busy making arrangements for the wedding, having announcements printed and having the announcement placed in the Gainesville Sun.  Barbara tells Morris she has six box tops which, if she had $6, she could get a lot of silverware (Hint, hint). She also started working part time getting $10 a day helping at the Youth for Christ which her father has started in an old theater downtown Ocala.

Updated: 01-07-2022