Friday, June 4, 2010

when grandpa met grandma

Once upon a time there was a young, handsome farmer named Glen.  One day, when he was in his early 20's, he learned that friends of his family from Iowa, now living in Wisconsin, needed help with harvest.  At the time, Glen was living in Wichita, KS working as an assembler at Beech Aircraft.  But being a caring, hard-working man, he traveled to WI to help out his friends.

He was in Wisconsin for several weeks, so he became involved with a local church.  On his first day of choir practice, Glen saw a cute girl in the chair just in front of him.  He decided he might like to get to know this girl better, and to let her know he thought she was cute.  So he shook her chair back and forth.  The girl's name was Genevieve, and everyone called her Gen.  Glen and Gen - isn't that cute?

Although Glen had clearly shown her his charm and sophistication, Gen was still unconvinced.  Glen bought her a compact to help sweeten the deal.  When Glen returned to Wichita, they agreed to stay in touch, and wrote letters back and forth.  In one letter, Gen sent Glen the above picture.

One day, Glen wrote Gen a letter asking her to marry him.  To his great delight, he received a letter from Gen in return saying "yes."  Fortunately, Glen also received a letter from Gen's father saying "yes."

A few weeks later, Gen and her young son Don arrived by train in Wichita, and shortly afterward, on February 7, 1942, Glen and Gen were married.  Gen's parents are with her and Glen in the 2nd picture below.

Not long afterward, Gen's parents, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers also moved to Wichita.  Once when I was younger I was trying to figure out how Grandma's family all came to be in Kansas; I knew they'd been in WI and Minnesota.  Did you all move here and then you married Grandpa, I asked?  Grandma replied in a jokingly irritated tone, "No, I moved here first and then they all followed me."

Glen and Gen were married for 54 years before Gen died in 1996.  Glen still wears his wedding ring, and Gen is often in his thoughts.

This is a picture of Gen in grade school, dressed up for a revolutionary war play.  Isn't she beautiful?

Janet - let me know if I got some facts wrong or should add something!

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