Tuesday, February 7, 2017

#52StoriesProject: Do You Know How Your Grandparents Met and Fell in Love?



In July of 1985, my maternal grandmother had the foresight to fill out a book called "Grandmother Remembers."  Now that she is 100 years old and has Alzheimer's, she doesn't really remember much, but thanks in part to that book, I know some of the stories of her life.  

This week's #52StoriesProject question is:  Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love?  I will tell the story as I understand it, and will quote what I can directly from Grandma's words from "Grandmother Remembers."

Grandma and Grandpa met when he was 23 years old and she was almost 19. They met on December 14, 1935 in Hanford, California at "the Elks Christmas Party for underprivileged people." She liked him because "he was nice looking and kind," and he liked her because "he thought I was cute and nice." On their first date, they "went to Giant Forest and played in the snow." On subsequent dates, they liked to go "for rides, to the movies, and to visit people."

Photo:  My grandparents stand together on the side of a road.  He is wearing a suit and tie; she has a ruffled blouse and long skirt.

Their courtship lasted three years.  Grandpa was a farmer, and when Grandma told her parents they were to be married, they "thought I should marry a rich man, so I wouldn't have to work so hard."  They were engaged in the spring of 1938, and when Grandpa proposed he said, "Let's go to Fresno tomorrow and buy the ring."  

Photo:  Grandma, wearing a dress coat and hat, stands in front of two cars, and smiles for the camera

They married on November 5, 1938 at 7:30 in the morning at "the Methodist Parsonage, Hanford, California." Grandma wore "a dark blue suit and white blouse."  Grandma's most vivid memory of her wedding day was "When we went out to eat, the waitress forgot to bring us the silverware."  Their most memorable wedding gift was luggage, which they put to good use, as they "spent two weeks in the Los Angeles area" for a honeymoon.  

Although I don't have a "Grandmother Remembers" book from my paternal grandma, I did ask my grandparents quite a few questions before they died.  I wish I had asked more.  

My dad's dad had been living in Oklahoma, but in 1939 decided to hitchhike to Alaska.  When he reached central Oregon, however, two of his older brothers (who already lived in Oregon) convinced him to stay there, too.  He got a job as a ranch worker in Powell Butte.  

A series of events had brought my grandma to Powell Butte.  Her father had died in 1935, and in February of 1939, her mother remarried and the family lived about a mile and a half outside of Redmond.  That summer, my grandma fell off a horse and sustained a bad skull fracture, which prevented her from continuing her high school education.  After her accident, the family moved to Powell Butte.  She started working for Mrs. Peterson, the postmistress.

It was while she was working for Mrs. Peterson that my grandma met my grandpa.  They met on March 24, 1940--Easter Sunday. On August 5 of that same year, they traveled to Reno, Nevada, where Grandma's step-sister lived, and were married in a minister's home. 

Photo:  My paternal grandparents in May 1940 in Powell Butte, Oregon

Do you know how your grandparents met and fell in love?  If you are married, have you written down your story?  

For those who are interested, next week's #52Stories prompt is: What have been the most important and valued friendships in your life?
Answer one question per week as part of the #52stories project from FamilySearch.



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4 comments:

  1. These are great!! I love the stories and the photos. I wish that I knew more about my lineage.

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    1. Family search.org is a great free site to help you get started with family history! I'm happy to help, if you are interested. :-)

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  2. Very nice, Kristi. Aren't you glad you did that writing project so many years ago? Having grandparents that were willing to fill you in with the details was helpful too.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!