Editor's note: We at the Standard Democrat were surprised we didn't receive more letters of how area couples first met (and we know there's a lot of great stories out there). However, we appreciate the ones we did receive and hope our readers enjoy them as much as we did.
The winner selected in the random drawing for a free dinner for two was Mae Griffin. Thank you to all who participated. Happy Valentine's Day!
My deceased husband and I had 30 short years of marriage. We met in 1945. He had just been discharged out of World War II. A friend of his who knew me, came in the city restaurant where I was head waitress in Oseceola, Ark., and brought this good-looking man with him to have a cup of coffee.
And as usual, I served them the coffee, stood and talked a few minutes, and in the conversation something was said, and he replied, "You are teasing." And I said, "Oh no, that causes big families," and he blushed right big. I don't know if it caused it or not, but they left without paying for their coffee.
His friend tried to get him to return and pay for the coffee. He told him that way he would get to see that pretty waitress again, but no way, he wouldn't come back in the restaurant. But he told his friend he would be seeing me and probably make that girl his wife.
It took him two years to talk me into marrying him. We got married May 10, 1947, had five children and 30 short years together before his passing in October 1977.
-- Mae Griffin
In 1959, I was working as a secretary for the city of Dearborn, Mich. Joel, who would later be my husband of 37 yeas, applied for the position of police officer for Dearborn. After coming to my office for employment reasons, our friendship became apparent. The city was having a Christmas party, so I asked him if he would like to attend with me. He accepted and from then on, we were a "couple" for almost two years.
We talked about marriage, but at the time I was wanting to pursue a career as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines. I was accepted for that employment and began flying in 1961. We kept in contact with one another and in fact saw each other in the fall of 1961 in New York City, where I was based. He was in the military and stationed in the Boston area.
In 1964, I flew to Europe and once again, our paths crossed in London, England. And, once again, we talked marriage and made it official. He flew home to Dearborn from England, and I flew home from Miami, Fla., where I was based at that time. We were married in 1965 in a traditional June wedding. So, evidently, absence from one another did make our "hearts" grow fonder.
-- Joel and Ginnie Tatroe
He was a knight
It was a clear, starry night in July of 1958. My girlfriend and I were strolling down the sidewalk of my hometown in Cairo, Ill. We heard someone call to us. I looked toward an upstairs window and there was my knight in shining armor. I later found out it was a disguise. He was really DO-NUT MAN! from a town called Sikeston, Mo.
He wooed me with his charms and we were engaged and then married Sept. 4, 1949.
-- Jean and Bobbie Hinton
I saw an article in Teen magazine in October 1966 to write to the GIs in Vietnam because there were guys who weren't getting any mail at all. It said to write your letter and put it in an envelope with your state's name on the outside, mail it to Teen magazine, and they would forward it on to Vietnam.
My husband tells me that when they had mail call there were two letters from Missouri and two guys from Missouri. They flipped a coin to see who would get to pick the letter he wanted. My husband won and said that he took the fatter of the two envelopes. He read my letter and kept it for several weeks before he decided to write back. After that, we corresponded on a regular basis until he came back to the states in January 1967.
Before he came back, he had to ask directions to my house. He lived in Matthews, and I lived in central Missouri in a small farming community in Pilot Grove. He also gave me his mother's address and said that I could continue to write him while he was on his way home. He had good news because the Army was sending him back to Fort Leonard Wood, which was not that far from my home.
I worked in Columbia and commuted on a daily basis with five of my friends (we all still lived at home as we helped our parents on the farms). We live in hill country and you can see my house from the highway. On Jan. 23, 1967, we were on our way home and as I looked down on our driveway, there was a car I did not recognize. As we were coming up the drive, I saw a military hat in the rear window. I knew immediately it had to be Bill. My cousin was driving and as we stopped to let me out, she said that she was thirsty and wanted a drink. I laughed and called her a liar, as she only wanted to meet Bill. Sure enough, I opened the door, he was sitting on the couch, talking to my mother. Fairy tales do come true because I knew immediately that this was the man I was going to marry.
Later, after Bill had left, my mom told me that she and Dad had been working outside when this car pulled up. This guy got out and started walking down the driveway. (Back then when you graduated from high school all the pot salesmen in the world came to your house to sell you pots, pans and dishes). My mom assumed this was another of these salesmen. When Bill introduced himself, she was very embarrassed because she had on her old, dirty coveralls. Mom quickly recovered and invited him to the house for coffee until I got home from work.
My younger sister had started supper and decided to bake an angel food cake. We never did figure out what she did wrong but that cake never rose one inch. It sat right where she had poured it in the pan. We had a good laugh, but ate it anyway.
I did not know that Bill had stayed overnight in Boonville and the next night as I was leaving work, there he sat, waiting to pick me up. We went out for supper and a movie.
After that, we saw each other just about every weekend and talked on the phone during the week. He proposed on my birthday in May, and we were married in November, which was 35 years ago.
-- Barbara Hill
My husband and I met at a two-room country school. He was 11 and I was 9. We claimed each other all through school the whole eight grades.
We started going to different activities, holding hands and kissing. When he was 17 and I was 15, we got married. We had a wonderful marriage of 52 years with God blessing us with three wonderful children.
My husband passed on seven years ago and is missed every day. Puppy love can grow into a wonderful love -- no matter how young.
-- Vivian Burch