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  • Betty Girardeau

December 23, 1933


My parent's wedding day. It would be their 87th wedding anniversary today. They met on a blind date orchestrated by my Mother's grandmother and my Dad's mother. Mother was coming to visit her grandmother (for those that remember, my "Grape" Grandmother) in Waynesboro, Virginia and she wanted to find some nice young man to take her granddaughter out while she was visiting. She called the Presbyterian Church, where she was a member, and asked for some suggestions. My Dad's last name was Alvis, so it was toward the top of the alphabetized church directory. Great Grandmother called my Dad's Mom and the rest is sort of history. EXCEPT he wasn't that thrilled that his Mother had offered him to be a date to anyone and almost didn't accept this set-up date. But when he showed up for the date, wearing, as I recall reading,a white linen suit with a green tie, it was likely love at first sight for her based on her diary entries, though she never used that term. But if you kept reading the diary, all the names of other beaus were mentioned less and less. It was a long distance relationship, too, as my Dad was in Virginia and Mother was in South Carolina. My sister and I have calculated that they may not have had more than two or three actual in person dates before committing themselves to marriage. But they wrote lots and lots of letters to each other. In those days mail deliveries were at least two times a day or more, which is hard to believe given how slow deliveries have now become. And they are only once a day now, too. Mother died just short of their 50th wedding anniversary. In her last years she was afflicted by various ailments and probably medications that interacted poorly. But in those days doctors never thought about that as an issue. She became very difficult to live with. But Dad had made a pledge to love and honor through sickness and health. And he did just that. He loved Mother totally. And, although he remarried, and that relationship lasted a good twenty years, I think Mother was always the love of his life. I am not sure what happened to that gorgeous veil that she wore. But I did get married wearing her wedding dress. And I was also married in the same church.

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