Lee Flood was born April 30, 1934. His mother was good about telling me of
her life when he was a baby. Wenona said they lived in a garage apartment
when he was small. Because they lived in such a small apartment, she had
to continually concentrate on keeping things picked up. During Rod's first
years the weather was unseasonably warm. Of course, in those days there
was no such thing as air-conditioning. The apartment had a rather large
flat roof with a short fence around it. This is where they spent many
nights. They were able to sleep more comfortably out side.
Rodney's father, John
Wesley Flood was always a hard worker and he worked many double shifts for
the oil company, City Service Oil. Shift work caused him to have to sleep
during the day. He would do this by keeping a large fan in the bedroom so
as to block out day time noise.
For a time he also took a
job as caretaker of the Lew Wentz estate. At this address they lived very
well, indeed. Lew Wentz was a millionaire oil man at the time and his
lands were vast. The gate house provided for them was actually quite
elegantly built of stone. Of course, the grounds were available for Rodney
to roam at will. There was abundant fishing, golf courses, Olympic size
swimming pool available. Mr. Wentz kept deer, buffalo, and other animals
behind very high chain link fences which bordered many acres of land.
Basically what the Flood family did was to live on those grounds. Mr.
Flood had a way about him, he was quite pleasant, but was well able to see
after the property.
John Flood later built
their own homes and this was where they lived. Between those homes they
lived for a time on the farm and John farmed. This is when I met Rodney
during one of his furloughs from the Marines. I think I fell in love with
the whole family. Mrs. Flood always presented herself in a very beautiful
way. She was warm hearted, but a little quiet and reserved. Mr. Flood was
kind and considerate in small ways. Rodney and I spent most of our time
with his family while he was home. It was the greatest pleasure. We had
pleasant meals together. We visited while sitting on the porch swing.
Rodney and his little brother John spent time together while we watched as
they played. It was summer time and the beauty of the land at the farm
house where they lived captured my heart. The family had a fineness about
them and they made me feel comfortable. I would remind them of my Indian
heritage and it never seemed to bother them, which was a little rare at
the time. To be Indian was not always acceptable then especially if a
favorite son was interested possibly for marriage. All the time I was
dating I was always careful not to get too involved with anyone if I felt
it might be a problem. If there was even a tiny possibility or hint of
some prejudice very quietly would, I slip out of things. Sometimes, I
might have been too careful. Once there was a very wealthy family whose
son offered me an engagement ring. Because of their wealth and position in
that town, I would not get involved. Years later he still could not
understand why. For the life of me, I can't remember what happened. There
must have been some little something to turn me away. Rodney's family
never once gave me that feeling, not in any way.
Rodney attended Phillips
University at Enid for a time taking pre-med. He then went into the Marine
Corp and served a four-year hitch, part of it in Korea and some in Japan.
We were married September
6, 1957. I had money saved. This along with the G.I. bill allowed us to
both attend Northern Oklahoma College, fall of 1957.