Their good friends John and Mae McCaul, who were missionaries to Hawaii, convinced my parents to send me to Emmanuel College. Knowing that I would not be able to come home for vacations, they asked the Drums to "adopt" me. Mil's sister, Beverly Tilton who was teaching at Emmanuel, would take me to them for vacations. They were living in Springfield, VA, at that time, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.
Because of their love and hospitality, I experienced my first White Christmas, ate my first pizza, met wonderful people at the National Capitol Pentecostal Holiness Church when Rev.Harry Correll was pastor. They took me on tours of the many historic sites. Many, oh so many times, because I was a history major, Bill or Mil would take me to a museum and wait for me in the car, allowing me to drink in the riches of American history. They walked with me along the Potomac to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the Spring, sat on the Capitol steps and the banks of the Potomac for the many summer concerts performed by military bands. How rich has been my life because of them.
I have special memories of Bill. He knew I loved the Yankees so he took me to a double-header when they were in town. He and I stayed up late to watch Johnny Carson and had many laughs together. He taught me what the taste of homegrown tomatoes tasted like ... he was proud to grow them himself. He was my "date" to the Inaugural Ball for the first President Bush and accompanied me to the many special events I was invited to since I had been on the Rules Committee at the Republican Convention.
They also opened their home to my many friends who came with me. When President Kennedy was assassinated, Gay Shepherd, Winston Underwood and I who were at East Carolina, went to Washington to witness the unfolding events and stayed with them.
Claudia Fountain came up one Christmas with me and got engaged to David Hopkins who was attending the University of Maryland at that time. In subsequent years when my Hawaiian friends and I went to Washington, they took care of us.
Mil and Bill would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this coming October 19. Not only did their names rhyme. They had learned the wonderful rhythm of a godly marriage, going through disappointments and trials together. The joyful chord of their mutual love and respect, overrode all others. I don't know of a day when they lost their smile or their song. They loved to sing together about the Lord and their warm home resonated with their vibrant testimony.
My only regret is that I was not able to reciprocate the hospitality because they never came to Hawaii. But, I plan to be there, the Lord willing, when my beloved "adopted" father is laid to rest in the honored Arlington Cemetery , where he had taken me so many times.
In the meantime, please pray for Mil. She recently had a hip operation and is unable to travel yet. That is one reason for the delay for Bill's services. I know she would love to receive cards from her friends because she always would send them to others.
With a very grateful heart for the love they invested in me,