Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30, 1949

Bill and Virginia.  A love story.

Today would have been my parents 65th anniversary.  So i called Mom and asked her to tell me about the day she got married... Mom was 21 and Dad was almost 21, and this what she recounted. Parentheses are mine.

"It was a Sunday afternoon, January 30, 1949.  There was 8 inches of ice on the ground.  The roads had been closed for over a week when Dad  (that's what she calls him when talking  to me)  finally got home from Stillwater.  It was between semesters.  We got married at the Methodist Church in Ft. Towson, Oklahoma. Mama Jo (Mom's mother), Granny (Mom's grandmother), Aunt Ruth (Dad's aunt who pretty much raised him), Mrs. Wilson, and the preacher and his wife were there.  Mama Groves (Dad's mother) wouldn't come.  (No surprise there, she didn't like any of the women her sons married.) 

Granny made me a white wool gabardine dress with gold buttons.  She sewed for the public, and it was a very nice dress.  Dad wore a suit. We took the last bus out that afternoon, as it began to snow again, and headed for a borrowed efficiency apartment in Oklahoma City.  Paul Artie (Dad's uncle) offered it to us for our wedding night - it was free...and since we had a total of $40 in our pockets, the price was right.  Our window was broken on the bus, and we almost froze, it was so cold.  There was so much ice everywhere that trees and limbs were broken all along the way and it looked like a disaster area.  (I googled it, and found out it was -16 degrees that day in Ft. Towson...record low for that day.  EVER.)  Dad said it was a hell of a day to get married.

Paul Artie had been out of town for a while, so when we got to the little apartment, it was frigid.  We turned on the open flame gas heaters and everything else to try to warm it up.  Woke up with the worst headaches in the morning, skin felt creepy and we were just miserable all around.  Dad asked me if I felt funny - then we both jumped up and started throwing open the windows and turning off the gas, realizing the gas had eaten up all the oxygen in the apartment and we had almost gassed ourselves.  I was just about then thinking to myself, 'if this is what marriage is like...i want out!'"

They eventually made it on to Stillwater...and began to live happily ever after. For which i am thankful.

Mom and Dad, you did it right, and showed us what true love is.  For better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health,  til death do us part.