This is from an email to Patricia Geisler, my neice and now matriarch of the Woodruff family, about my date with her mother, Mary Ryan, before she married my brother Dick.
Mary invited me to be her prom date out of the blue. The Waterviet boys and the Chicago girls hung out a lot but there was never any pairing. I think it was because I was a college boy and I owned a tuxedo. Mary and Leo lived in Chicago then, so on the appointed day I borrowed Dad's Chrysler Windsor (robin's egg blue) packed my tux and off I went. When I got to Leo and Mary's I made the awful discovery that I had my tux, my pleated-front shirt, my black tie, black silk sox AND NO SHOES! I had special black dress shoes but they were in Watervliet and I was wearing moccasins.......and the stores were closed. Leo and Mary started calling around and found a friend with shoes nearly my size but brown. Desperate (it was getting late) we went off to the friends house to get the shoes but couldn't get away without having a drink, which our host poured into shot glasses. I threw mine down and almost strangled. What I thought was whiskey was Southern Comfort, meant to be sipped. Anyway I show up at the Ryan home in a tuxedo and brown shoes and LATE. I was met at the door by Alice and Loretta who really reamed me out...so off your mother and I go to the prom. I was so traumatized that I really can't remember the corsage and dancing parts of the evening but I do remember that after the prom a bunch of us went to Skokie for some after-prom nonsense. To this day I still feel sorry for messing up her prom.