Mixsonian Larry

On my Own

One Sunday night at the church youth meeting Bill told several of the guys that he was looking for a roommate.  Bill had been living on his own in a single room apartment above the garage of some family’s house since he graduated from GHS two years before after his parents moved to Jacksonville.  Bill said he had found something better and since it had two bedrooms, he was looking for a roommate.  None of the other guys at church were interested but I was, after sharing a ten by ten foot bedroom with my brother my whole life, having a bedroom of my own sounded really good.  I told Bill I was interested but had to ask Mom and Dad.   That evening when I got home, I told Mom and Dad about Bill wanting a roommate and that I was interested.    Dad being his usual self didn’t say much while Mom asked all sorts of questions. Where was the house? How much was it? Could I afford it?  I would need to make a budget.  And so on.  I knew Mom was the one I had to convince so I answered all her questions. Working twenty hours a week at $1.63 an hour, I made  $130 a month.  Rent was $60 a month, so my half was $30, which gave me about $100 expenses like utilities, food and gas (35 cents a gallon).  Bill said he would pay for the house, phone, and utilities deposits.  I had it all worked out, I would be poor, but I would be on my own.

I think the convincing factor was that Mom and Dad knew Bill’s parents from the church which they were founding members, they were, as Mom would say, “Good Christian people.” and Bill was “A good Christian boy.”  Mom turns to Dad and asks him what he thought, and he says something simple like “Yeah, I guess it’s okay.”  Mom then says, “Well, I guess you can do it.  You know you can always come back home.”   Although Mom may have had reservations, I think Dad was fine with it, after all he had joined the Navy before he finished high school.   I was excited and called Bill up right away and told him.

Where we livedThe Duplex. 
The yard was all grass when we lived there.

And so, the first of October I moved in with Bill.  The house Bill found was a two bedroom apartment at 2049 NW 36 Ave.  It was a duplex that is basically two connected houses under one roof with our half on the left.  The house came furnished which was good for neither Bill nor I had any furniture.  There are many such apartments in Gainesville to serve the large University student population with ours being one a several that an Asian woman name Mrs. Bruall owned and rented.   The house had terrazzo floors throughout, a living room furnished with couch, large chair, coffee table, two end tables and a couple lamps. The kitchen had a table with four chairs and had a few miss-matched dishes, pots and pans, probably left by previous students.  Each of the two bedrooms had a full size bed and a dresser.   Bill took the larger of the two bedrooms and I the smaller.   Mom gave me some old sheets and towels and other than clothes, I did not have much, after a couple of trips in my car I was moved in.   

The house was painted in dark colors, the kitchen and living room a dark pea green, my room dark blue which I didn’t mind since I liked blue, but the worst was the bathroom which was painted in six inch wide stripes of alternating purple and pink like, something from a circus, which I really didn’t like and after a few months of living there, I repainted it white.  It took three coats paint to cover up the purple and pink stripes, but it was worth it.  The house was heated by a kerosene heater like Mom and Dad had at home and was air conditioned by a single large window unit mounted high on the wall in the living room which cooled the living room and kitchen quite well but didn’t provide much cooling to the bedrooms and then only when I left my bedroom door open.  Overall, the place was nice.


On October 12 President Nixon announced that the United States would withdraw 40,000 troops from Vietnam before Christmas signaling the beginning of the end of the war.  Although draft card it clearly said 1-A which meant eligible for military service I didn’t give much thought of being drafted for students going fulltime to college could get a deferment.

Updated: 11-29-2022

First Date