Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Courtship of Jim & Elaine 1.0 - The Rejection

Last week on our 58th Wedding Anniversary I sent out the story of our somewhat disorganized wedding back in 1951. I suspect that some of you could come up with similar stories. In fact, in a telephone coversation with Don Thayer day before yesterday, he started telling me the story of his wedding which sounds even more disorganized than mine. I have encouraged him to share it with us by Email.
I thought you might be interested in a couple of stories on the rocky road to romance that led our wedding.
                                   THE REJECTION
Back in Watervliet High School in the 30's there was a group of three or four of us guys who would go "wolfing" on weekends. "Wolfing" consisted of driving around various towns in Van Buren and Berrien Counties in a car or pickup truck (borrowed from our parents) trying to pick up girls. The usual routine was to go to Chrystal Palace on Paw Paw Lake on Saturday night and Shadowland at Silver Beach on Lake Michigan on Sunday night. Both of these were large dance halls at which "Big Bands" (some famous, some local) played Swing Music.

This one summer Sunday night four of us, Bud, Bob, Louie and I went to Shadowland. The main attraction that night was a pair of good looking girls (known to us as "Ann and Elaine") who were always dancing together. After a lot of urging by Louie and Bob, Bud and I decided to ask these girls to dance. Bud, handsome and athletic, over six feet tall with wavy blonde hair, said he got the blonde (Ann)* and I readily agreed since I already preferred the brunette, Elaine. I was nearly 6'4" tall with a full head of hair in those days so as we approached the girls' table we didn't exactly look like a pair of losers.
 We more than met one of the girls' known criteria, namely that were were taller than they were, but we must have been lacking somewhere else since when we asked them if they would like to dance, they turned us down...and din't even invite us to sit down.
Well, you can imagine the state of our egos as we retreated to our table (and our buddies' snickering) and departed the dance hall with our tails between our legs. With me, it's the humiliations that I remember the longest. 
Elaine has said that the reason they turned us down was that they really did not know how to dance. I never bought that alibi since out on the dance floor they looked like Ginger Rogers and Ginger Rogers.
* Ironically, Ann eventually became the Matron of Honor at our wedding.

Next: Time Marches On

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