Carl the Marine
When my mother married my stepfather, Carl, in 1965, all I could see was a mean man who was more comfortable barking out orders to new recruits than reading a bedtime story to a little girl like me. Carl was a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune, and we lived off base in Midway Park.
He soon learned that Animal Crackers were not made for our dog, and that I liked going to church every Sunday with my whole family, days when he wanted to relax at home alone. We lived on a dirt road down from the church, and every Sunday that he was at home, he and I rode our bicycles to Midway Park Baptist Church, sitting together and singing every hymn together. He didn't know all the songs, or all of the prayers, but he made sure I learned.
I soon learned that he was a very kind and loving father who wanted to do the best he could for me, including making sure I went to church and that he went with me.