Round-the-clock music led to matrimony

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM.

Too bad our mother, Marie Densch Gray, is not still alive and still a city commissioner. My sister, Mayme Gray Millender, and I grew up listening to Mom’s stories of her first visit to Carrabelle in 1938. She and four other recent graduates from business college in Paducah, Kentucky rented a house for two weeks near Carrabelle Beach, next door to “The Juke Joint,” where Two Al's Restaurant is now located. The jukebox had just two records that played over and over 24 hours a day. “Flat Foot Floogie (with a Floy, Floy)” and “A-tisket, A-tasket,” 24 hours a day. Mom said none of the "girls" slept the two weeks in Carrabelle.

Our Dad, Herman Gray, was in charge of "protection" for the future secretaries. Dad worked for the forest service and one of the five had a connection to Bill Jacobs, his boss’ boss in Tallahassee. J. P. & Grace Massey cared for the Sopchoppy Road fire tower. Mom stayed with Grace once while J. P. and Herman were fighting a fire. J. P. and Herman also had to put together a SummerCamp Beach fish fry for the "girls" and forest service managers.

The Loud Music did not keep Herman from arriving on Marie's southern Illinois farm doorstep 15 minutes after Mom.

Mom had barely set down her suitcase. She asked her older brother Rue, "What do I do with this guy from Florida?”

"Invite him in Sis, invite him in."

They married a year later and were married 47 ½ years

Harry Gray



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