My mother and father got married three times – to each other!!!!
My parents met each other in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1930s. My father was seven years older than my mother and had been divorced. He was a very good looking man; 6 feet tall with thick wavy hair and brown eyes. My mother was young, petite and very pretty – but not exactly a “woman of the world”. Pictures of her from that time show a slim woman with a lovely shy smile. Well, my grandmother, my mother’s mother, did not like my father’s interest in my mother. She strongly discouraged their growing relationship. In particular she did not approve of my father having been divorced.
Naturally, my parents fell in love and my father asked my mother to marry him. She very much wanted to marry my father but was afraid to tell my grandmother, who was a strong forceful woman who no one disobeyed!
My father talked my mother into eloping. They eloped over the state border to Pennsylvania where they got married by the Justice of the Peace. Immediately afterwards they drove back to Cleveland. My father took my mother to the movie theatre to see “The Last of the Mohicans” and my mother cried all the way through the movie. My father, who had a great sense of humor, always chuckled when he remembered that. It was now evening and my mother didn’t want to get in trouble so my father took my mother home. As was often the custom back when a family had many children, my mother shared a bed with her sister. So my mother came home and spent her honeymoon night sleeping next to her sister, Evelyn. She could not get up the nerve to tell her mother that she had just eloped.
Soon thereafter, my mother did confess to my grandmother that she and my father had gotten married. My mother certainly did not want to keep this secret and had to tell her mother and father. At this point, my grandmother knew the marriage was a “fait accompli” but she wanted her daughter married in the Lutheran church by their minister. My parents had a nice wedding with her sister Evelyn as her maid of honor. The wedding picture shows my mother smiling with her head slightly tilted, wearing a polka-dot frock with a bouquet of flowers on her shoulder. My father looked very happy with a dark suit and white “spat” shoes.
Life sometimes is complicated! My parents happily began their married life. However, my father’s family were devout Catholics and were none too happy that my divorced father had gotten married in a Protestant church to a non-Catholic. But then my mother got pregnant. The child had to be raised Catholic so when my mother was “with child” my parents got married for the third time in the Catholic Church. My mother promised to raise all their children Catholic. Within a few months my brother was born, the first of four children.
My parents were married 50 years and always celebrated their wedding anniversary in November, the date that they eloped and were married the first time!