Back in June 1979, the month/year that John Wayne died, I was a wild and free single man mildly involved in the dating scene. I was in the USAF and stationed at Kelly AFB in San Antonio Texas. I had no bills and lived in the dormitory, so I had plenty of money to spare. Since I had all this extra money, I frequently went clubbing on weekends, drinking a lot and looking for women to score. I wasn’t against the idea of getting married and settling down, but not with just anyone. It had to be with someone that I trusted and respected.
One evening I went out to a club called The Back Way Inn in San Antonio (it has since closed down). While at the club I met this lady named Susie. She was a hot looking Filipina. She looked like she was a little bit older than me, but of course that didn’t matter. I invited her to my table, we got to talking, we danced and I bought her several drinks. I could tell that she was not the kind of woman that I wanted to marry, but at that time, that is not what I had on my mind. While we were talking I found out where she lived and that there was going to be a party at her apartment the next weekend. Her roommate was throwing a ‘Divorce Party’. Yes that’s right, a Divorce Party, I never heard of one either. Well Susie invited me to this party and I was glad to be going.
When the next weekend came around Susie picked me up in her car, because I didn’t even have a car back then. We went to her apartment which was just outside the main gate of Kelly in a complex called Billy Mitchell Village. The apartment was upstairs and as we walked in the party was just getting started. The host of the party was another Filipina, and man oh man did she have some nice looking legs. She introduced herself as Lolita (Lita). We had food, beer and all kinds of liquor and about 1/2 hour into the party Lita announces that she has an X-rated film for us to watch. She had an 8mm projector and she needed help setting it up so one of the other guys helped her. There were plenty of people at the party from my squadron, and even her ex-husband’s squadron. When it came time to watch the movie, Lolita only watched a little while, but she is not into watching X-rated movies so she went into her bedroom. She just got it for the party. We all enjoyed it, even though it was like a B-rated film. Everyone had a good time.
At the end of the party, everyone went home except me. Susie and I ended up in her bedroom. Being with an older woman is always nice because they’ve usually been around some and know some moves that the younger woman don’t know. Susie was no exception. Susie also worked as a waitress at one of the NCO Clubs on Kelly, the one on Security Hill. Susie would pick me up at the dorm, take me to the club and give me free drinks all night until her shift was over. We’d then proceed to her apartment or even a couple of times to my dorm room. You know we never did go out on a regular date. It was always ‘to the bedroom’.
Well one day, after a couple of months of being with Susie, I found out that she moved out of the apartment and moved back in with her husband. Yeah, it surprised me too. I started talking to Lita and ended up asking her out on a date. She wasn’t very comfortable with dating since she just got out of a marriage, but decided to go anyway. Well I thought we were going to be alone, but it didn’t turn out that way. She ended up with 3 dates that day. There was me, a Filipino guy named Pride V.S. Roscom and a black guy named Johnny Ray Murphy. We went to Pizza Hut on our date. Well I knew these other 2 guys because they were in my squadron on base, so we all had a pretty good time. Just about the whole time we’re on this date, I trying to think of a way to make this woman notice me more than the rest of them, and I know they were thinking the same thing.
Shortly after our Pizza Hut date, in August 1979, I asked Lita for another date, to a Santana concert. This time only the two of us. She said yes. Since neither of us had a vehicle at the time, we had to take a bus to Hemisphere Plaza where the concert center was located. As we were walking from the parking lot to the concert center, I held her hand for the first time and she didn’t resist. We went into the concert and Santana really rocked the house. After the concert we took the bus back and the bus stop is only a few blocks from her apartment. We walked hand in hand all the way up the stairs. At the top of the stairs in front of her door was where we kissed for the first time. Needless to say I was very excited. She went into her apartment and I headed back to the dorm. As I got to the bottom of the stairs I let out a loud Yee Haw and started my short walk back to the base.
After a couple of months of dating, we decided that I should move into the apartment. We still were not sleeping together so I was to sleep in the extra bedroom and help with the rent and utilities. So in October 1979, I moved into the apartment. I got off work and headed to the apartment for my first day. I already had a key and Lita still had about 30 minutes before she was to be home. As I was looking out the window I saw her walking, getting ready to cross the street. As she stepped in the street, a car came by and almost ran her over. The person in the car got out and started arguing with her. The driver of the car was Susie. Lita did her best to ignore her because she was tired from working all day. She continued walking towards the apartment hoping to get inside and away from this crazy screaming woman. She was almost to the stairs when Susie hit her. Well Lita was already aggravated, so she hit her back and a fight ensued. I went down there and broke it up and all the while Susie was yelling something at me in Tagalog. Lita told me later what she was saying, but now neither of us remember, but we know it was something not good. After that day, I never saw Susie again.
After Lita finally got in the apartment, she was still fuming. She decided that it would be okay for us to sleep in the same bed together that evening. I couldn’t wait to get to bed. When bedtime finally got there I was a little discouraged. She had a King sized bed and she insisted on putting a large pillow between us. Well being a horny young man, I had to find a way to get rid of that pillow. Turns out that it wasn’t so hard to get rid of it. All I had to do was ask for a kiss and things progressed from there. I thought I was just a good kisser. Lita told me, years later, that she only did it because she was so mad at Susie. I’m okay with that, anytime you can get it, is good. I never did sleep in that spare bedroom.
Next morning things went normally, but I did find out something else about Susie that I didn’t know. Remember I told you she was older than me? Well as it turns out, she was 17 years older than me. I was 21, she was 38. It’s okay with me, except that was the same age as my Mother.
A couple of more months pass by and one day Lita informs me that her ex-husband is coming by to get some clothes that she has of his. Well her ex-husband is a Captain in the Air Force and here I am only a Sergeant. I wasn’t really worried about it, but I didn’t know how he would react. When he arrived I was in the bedroom and Lita already had the clothes ready and met him at the door. They were in there talking and it seemed that he didn’t believe that she had another man living there with her. About that time I stepped out of the bedroom. He believed it then and left shortly afterward, without incident. That was the last time I ever saw him.
One evening in January 1980, while I was laying in bed, I was thinking about how wonderful this woman laying next to me is. She’s a very no nonsense woman who is very nice and very trustworthy. Right then and there I decided that I should ask her to marry me. So I did. I said, “Why don’t you do me a favor and marry me”. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an answer. Yes she was still awake, but evidently she didn’t hear me or she was thinking about it. After a few minutes I asked for an answer and she said “Of course”. I asked why she didn’t answer right away and she said that she was thinking that I already knew the answer.
We set a date for April 1980 at the courthouse in my hometown of Belton Texas. Since we were now officially engaged, it was time for us to meet each others parents. Well Lita’s mother died when she was only 9 years old and her father was in the Philippines, so meeting them was impossible. She could meet my parents though. On the way to meet my parents, she wanted to visit her ex-in-laws. Turns out that her ex’s parents are rich. They lived in Onion Creek on the south side of Austin. Let me tell you, I was pretty nervous meeting these people. We sat in their living room and talked for a little while and after about 15 minutes Pat, her ex-mother-in-law, told me, “You know, I didn’t think I was going to like you, but I do”. Those were her exact words, I remember them distinctly because it surprised me so much. I found out later that Pat is the one that paid for Lita’s divorce from her son. Pat said that her son was not good enough for Lita.
After visiting the ex-in-laws, we headed to Belton to meet my parents. Another reason we were going to Belton is because my baby sister (Joyce) was having her first baby. We wanted to be there for that. Now my parents are very different in nature. My mother is a very happy go lucky person who can get along with just about anybody. My father is more the serious type. Both my parents liked Lita from the beginning. At least that’s the impression I got. I know my mother did. Her and Lita get along just as well as my mother and I do, maybe even a little better. Dad said he liked her from the beginning and maybe he did, but I know that later he did, very much. So I got lucky on that, no problems.
Shortly after we returned to San Antonio, Lita decided that she was going to bake me a cake. I wasn’t home until it was already in the oven, but I could smell it cooking when I got there. She kept checking on the cake, but it wasn’t rising like it was suppose to. Well I’m far from a master chef, but I decided to go in there to take a look. I looked in the oven and it’s just a big glob of bubbly stuff cooking in there. I went to the trash can to retrieve the cake mix box. Well it turns out that it wasn’t cake mix. It was cake frosting. I rib her about that to this day. She is a wonderful cook, but she still is not that great at baking.
Finally it got to be April. On the day after Easter, on Monday, April 7, 1980, at the Bell County courthouse, 10:00am, we became Mr. & Mrs. John W Jackson Jr. We were married by Judge Campbell and our witnesses were Johnny Ray Murphy (the same guy from our first date) and Anita Jordan (a Filipina friend of ours from San Antonio).
As of today, 10 December 2010, we have been married for 30 years, 8 months and 3 days. I can’t say honestly that it has all been wonderful, but if I had to do it all over, I’d marry her again. She’s still my “Wife” and I’m still her “Honey”. She rocks my world and I see no end to this marriage in sight.