I want to tell you all about someone. Shirley Jean was born in 1933 in St. Louis to an alcoholic father and a codependent mother. There was violence in the house until the father died when she was about 10. At 16, Shirley had to leave school and go to work to support both her and her mother who refused to work.
Shirley met Russell, who had recently gotten discharged out of the Airforce, when they were set up on a blind date by friends in 1956. Unable to wait to meet him, Shirley had one of her girlfriends drive her by Russell’s house so she could catch a glimpse. She saw Russell bent over the engine compartment of a 1950 Ford, wearing a t-shirt and greasy up to his elbows. Her comment to her girlfriend was: “He’s wearing a t-shirt and he’s a mess!” Their first date was on the riverboat Admiral, that cruised up and down the Mississippi. They were married on June 14, 1957.
Shirley had two sons, Mark and Robert. She was an unabashed liberal who liked her cigarettes and Martinis. She was about 5’,4" and would stand toe-to-toe with you and argue politics. At a dinner party, when a blow-hard began loudly preaching that if we didn’t stop the commies in Viet Nam, they would be marching down main street in the US. Shirley proceeded dissect his arguments and show what a fool he was.
February 26, 2016