This beautiful couple are my adoptive parents, William Kenneth and Ardith June (Howland) Elam.
Daddy was the son of William Birdle and Orpha Mae (Perkins) Elam. He was born 09 Oct 1921 in Lerna, Coles County, Illinois, but soon moved to Vienna, Johnson County, Illinois. He lived there until his early 20's when he moved to St. Louis and then enlisted for World War II.
Mother was the daughter of Frank and Lula (Conrad) Howland. She was born 08 Aug 1925 in Bear Grove Township, Guthrie County, Iowa. She grew up in Guthrie County and lived in Kansas City, Missouri after her graduation. She trained to be a radio operator and worked for TWA during the war.
From Mother's diary: "As soon as I was settled in Amarillo, Texas, I joined the USO. There was an Army Air Corps field adjacent to our commercial field. One Sunday, I went to bed at 9:00 a.m. after working the midnight shift. I was so tired, but set me alarm for 2:00 p.m. to get up and go to the USO. After an hour or so of mingling, I was so tired I left. As I was walking to my bus stop, a guy cut across to me and asked if he could walk with me. I said okay, as far as I was going, to the bus. We talked some and found we worked across the airfield from each other. He was a sorta cute soldier. I gave him my phone number. We rode the ferris wheel in a nearby park, had a sandwich and then I went home. He told me his name. I could remember the Bill but Elam was too hard and I immediately forgot it. The next night he called. I had a hard time placing him. We spent hours on the phone, had dates when we could both find matching free hours.
We got engaged and then my orders for transfer to Phoenix came. I got a ring from him. It was hard to leave, but most people said "After the war" anyway. He was due to ship out too."
Reading their story, and with a little imagination, one can hear Glenn Miller playing in the background as this young couple danced at the Amarillo USO and fell in love.