Written By Edward Trimnal a Junior at Newberry College
Life moves so fast that it’s hard to see the forerunner, as it takes many forms to deliver its sign. For PFC Ronald Mathews, stationed at Fort Jackson, and Teresa Partain, attending the then all girls Columbia College, theirs came in the shape of a phone; one that was swiftly placed into Teresa’s hand by her friend, and roommate, in an attempt for her to find a partner. Awkward words were spoken, yet smoothness from the young private kept the conversation going. Night had long gone to sleep before their call ended, and pictures would be sent; this was their only option to know what the other looked like, seeing as neither had enough time to meet in person. But phone calls became dating, which cultivated into marriage on September 1, 1972.
Orders sent them to Fort Gordon, Georgia, and amidst the summer heat a child was born. But it was surpassed by European Winters, as new orders had arrived – Germany was their new home. That it was, as no new orders arrived; therefore, friendships turned lifelong, child became children (Crystal, Ron Jr., and Priscilla), while memories were filmed. Yet Germany converted into New Jersey, new orders, but back to Europe – Holland 1980s. Those were fast moving years, especially on a historical scale: computers rose to power, walls fell to democracy, and, a much older, Ron Mathews made a wrong turn; the Jeep full of sleeping men found themselves having a days excursion in France, after a tiresome weekend of field training. Life has many potholes in the road, but some leave enough mark on the tire that they’re told by friends and family for as long as you drive.
As the 1990s started, and Y2K wasn’t a thought, Ron Mathews retired from the military. They settled in Lexington County, South Carolina to be near family, going so far as being just doors away from Teresa’s parents. But relocation means an unfamiliar town, new jobs, and grandchildren? Yes, grandchildren – Seth and Edward – born mere months apart! Oh, how spoiled they’ll be! Don’t mind them, they’re still spoiled, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. Back to Ron and Teresa; they stayed in Lexington County longer than their entire combined time in Europe. Those jobs, after 32 years, were where they retired from. Life had been settled, or so one would have thought; Ron and Teresa, however, moved, one last time to, here - Newberry. They’re once again a few doors down from family. This year marks their 50th anniversary. Life moves fast – faster than they realized. But that’s the fun of it, and…Oh, my phone's ringing – let me get that.