I know my parents met at a dance. I know where and in what town and state. I don’t know when but I do know about how long before they got married. Mom told me about a couple of their dates. One time during field work – they were all farmers in that area – her and her siblings and friends all went to a dance and dad and mom went out to the car to take a break and talk. Next thing they knew they were waking up from having fallen asleep, it was dark, the dance was closed up and no one was around! Was her dad ever going to be mad at her for being out so late! I asked her, didn’t you hear the cars start up and she replied, everyone there thought it would be funny to be quiet and push the cars away from the dance hall -[ it was a community hall actually] – and then start them up down the road. Funny to her sisters and brothers and friends, but not to my grandpa and grandma when she got home. He was so mad at her for not getting home until past 2 am and she was so hurt for disappointing him and her mom. All was forgiven when the truth was found out later. But right then it was straight to bed, there was still more work to be done in a few hours. (This was the early 1940’s so automobiles were very different then from now).
Parents love their children and don’t want car accidents, or taken advantage of, or make choices that would give them a hard and sad life ahead of them.
But what did my parents see in each other? My mom was beautiful and skinny, that is what attracted my dad at first. My dad was very handsome and a little shy like my mom and good natured. They both were from farming families. Now were there other suitors for my mom, we have one letter written to her before her marriage. It was from a gentleman in the military and he made jokes throughout the whole letter. It is great fun to read. However the name and most of the address were chewed by a rodent, so we don’t know who it was – [I should call my aunt today and ask her if she knows]. We can only guess that mom kept the letter because it was written with joy and that for whatever reason it didn’t work out. That is good, or I would not be here today!
My parents, like any couple had some rough times to go through, but what do I remember as their daughter? My memories are not the same as my oldest sister, 6 years older and she was older during some of the tough times, so her memories are different. This is good, because between all of us kids, we can get a more complete story of our parents lives. I got to see my parents play together by doing things together that they enjoyed.
My dad used to sing songs. Sometimes he would put his hands in his pockets and shake the change and sing, “I wish I was single again, for when I was single my pockets would jingle, oh I wish I was single again.” Sometimes my mom would be so ‘putout’ at him as she would say, other times she just laughed at him. Sometimes while she was cooking our meals, he would walk into the kitchen and start singing to her, “Hey hey good looking, what ‘cha got cooking, how’s about cooking something up with me?” and it always brought a smile to my mom’s face.
Both of my parents would joke, if the phone rang or we ask who’s here or anybody home, they would reply with, “nobody here but us chickens!”. Recently, I received a CD from Phil Harris and wouldn’t you know it, there was this song on it called, Nobody here but us chickens! (Phil Harris was the voice of Baloo the bear on Disney’s Jungle Book cartoon movie).
What fun things did your parents do that was uniquely for them?