Sunday, January 15, 2012

Roy Delgado - Family and United States Marine Corps Ball - - Nov. 10, 1958 -

This is yours truly on the top and my three children.  I started taking this pose with the three kids on a lawn chair when they were about 4-7 years  old and I would update it with the same pose usually about every 5 years or so . . . I still have the photos somewhere.  It got harder and harder, not only because as they left the nest, it'd slip my mind to get around to do it and also, I noticed I had to start buying longer and heavier-duty lawn chairs !

Rumaging through some old photos someone asked to send, I found this one . . . taken at my girlfriend's apartment on 16th Street, N.W. in Washington, D.C. - - It's very dear to me and this time was probably the happiest days of my life.

I had met Betty Daniels, who was literally the girl living next door and it went from there.  I was stationed at Marine Barracks, 8th & Eye Streets S.E., 200 yards from the Navy Yard.

Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. was actually a showplace . . . Everyone, all 500 marines there were of ceremonial stature . . . all were between 5'-10"  to  6'-3", no overweights or extemely thin people were allowed . . . no glasses in rank . . . reason, so that the platoons, when standing in rank were extremely all neat and straight . . . the man next to you may only be 1/4 " taller or shorter than you . . . uniformity and neatness . . like clones.

The Base there was home to The U.S Marine Corps Institute, where I worked as an artist located in the Navy Yard . It was a both a  correspondence school and a guard unit where we designed, wrote and illustrated courses for marines throughout the world. We had four artists, really talented and creative and we illustrated the various technical and training manuals with black and white ink drawings mostly.  The courses varied vastly from a sketching course to bayonet fighting, knife fighting, Tank warfare, etc.

The base also was home to the elite world famous U.S. Marine silent drill team, which you may have seen on television.  It also housed the U.S. Marine band and the official U.S. Presidential Guard.  This is the guard that stands at the White House and has the helicopter, Marine One to ferry the President around to Andrews Air Force Base or wherever.  Our unit also is dispached to Camp David to protect the President whenever he is visiting there on vacation or has a visitor there.

The base is the oldest post in the Marine Corps, the same red brick buildings, with manicured lawns ( Since 1880 ) sits proudly there.  It is only one square block in size and houses only 500 marines. 

Because of  limited housing space on the base, Many non-commissioned-officers, like myself lived off post in apartments and houses.  It was a coincidence that a  three-story townhouse with 7 marines living in it would be next-door to a townhouse with seven single girls living there, all mostly looking for each another but really didn't know it.

The Marine Barracks, consisting of the offices complex, post exchange, cafe, gym and marching field also was the home of the Commandant's mansion.  And right next door in a line were four brick houses, each a home to a general who were assigned to pentagon duties or worked elswhere in the city.

Betty and I had met in June of 1958, we became best friends, started going steady and in January 30, 1959 we married.

I've been in love with the same woman for 51 years - - - If my wife ever finds out about it, she'll kill me !

Actually, I borrowed that line from Henny Youngman, one of my favorite comedians.


" Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. "

- Abraham Lincoln


The better half, Betty


I made up my mind up a long time ago. You get what you expect.  Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I found out that you can go to the storehouse of abundance ( which actually exists and is real in life ) with a steamshovel . . . OR you can go there with a sieve . . . or a teaspoon . . . you don't want much ? Life will oblige you,  it's all  "self-service"  . . . You don't want anything ? That's Great !  That'll leave more for someone else that can use it or give it away if he doesn't want it . . .  . . . Life doesn't CARE whether you succeed or not. It is up to you, not your government.

Your "entitlements" are simply life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . . actually, these are "rights". ( AT LEAST IN AMERICA, THAT IS. )

If you are given lemons, make lemonade and shut up. You are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.


" What is success ?  To laugh often and much.  To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children.  To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends.  To appreciate beauty.  To find the best in others.  To leave the world a bit better , whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition.
To know even one life breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded. "

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882


I've got mine.

( Making the New Yorker will just be gravy, that's all. ) 

You've got yours to get.

Remember . . . Be careful what you believe.

Signed: Roy Delgado aka Peter Plum

( I probably shoulda been a preacher., NO, not like Jim Jones. )



  1. What a wonderful story, Roy! Thanks for sharing it. ~Lex

    1. Lex,
      Great to hear from you ! For those out there who may not know, Lex was my first employee in my then fledgling sign/graphics firm, Roy Delgado and Associates in Falls Church, Virginia back in 1975.

      Her sister Fer ( Jennifer ) also worked for me., ( in the first couple years ). Both are the daughters of Jim Orton, my very close friend and cartoonist I had met at Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. back in 1967. My company went on to grow to a 32 man operation and was sold in 2001.

      I believe the two good-looking intelligent Orton girls helped the company in getting off to a running start. They sent me other good employees and it was all downhill from there.

      Keep in touch, Alex . . I knew you when you were Lex, in fact, I knew you when you were Alexandria !

      Take care,
      Roy Delgado aka Peter Plum