A Great Love Story: Mama and Daddy

A Great Love Story

My mama’s birthday is tomorrow. She will be seventy-five years old. I love stories of how couples met, and want to share my mama’s story of how she met my daddy.

In 1956, mama graduated high school in Munford, Tennessee, at the age of eighteen. She and her best friend, Betty Lou, left the cotton farms of Tennessee to work in Washington, D.C., right after graduation. Mama got a job as a secretary with the FBI. She shared an apartment with Betty Lou and three other girls they met upon arriving in Washington. That first Christmas, mama and Betty Lou both went home to see their families. After the holidays, they took the bus on a long ride back to Washington. That’s where the story begins. On a bus.

After sitting together for quite a while through various bus stops, seats began to open up as people got off at their designations. Betty Lou decided to move up front a little to a seat where she could lay down and sleep. Leaving mama by herself. At least for a moment.

A blue eyed, blonde haired eighteen year old boy, who had been sitting in the back of the bus, asked mama if he could sit beside her. He was a sailor, from a small town in Texas, returning to the ship in Virginia after spending the Christmas holidays with his family. Mama said yes. She said it was because he was so cute. And he was a sailor!

They started talking. Within a couple of hours, he asked her to marry him. They exchanged addresses and he wrote her immediately upon returning to the ship. She still has the letter. He traveled to Washington to see her the following weekend. That was in January. Mama and daddy were married mere weeks later, on March 11, 1957.

It was the beginning of a great love story that lasted twenty-four years.