Saturday, December 03, 2011

When Hubert met Rose

This is the story of how my father-in-law was introduced to my mother-in-law. I've heard the story told numerous times and it always warmed my heart.

The story starts in 1955, when Hubert Lawrence became a widow. He and his 17 year old son Tommy were living alone after the death of his first wife Della. Tommy worked at a local mill as a doffer, someone who replaced bobbins in the machines where the (mostly) ladies were sewing. One of those ladies was Rose.

Apparently, Tommy had a mischievous streak. Something that he did aggravated Rose that day and she told him "I'd like to be your mother for just one day." It's never been clear to me if she knew his mother had died a few weeks earlier or not, but I can just imagine her pointing her crooked finger at him as she said it (her finger probably wasn't crooked then, but it was all the time I knew her).

That night, Tommy told his father that there was a lady at the mill who wanted to meet him. So Hubert went to meet Rose at the boarding house where she lived. When she told the story about his big shoes clomping up the stairs to the porch, you could hear the sound it made.

About five weeks later (sometimes this was as short as five days when Rose told the story) he picked her up in his car to take her for a ride. When she asked where they were going he replied "to get a marriage license." I guess that served as a proposal.

Her answer was a simple "oh, ok" (which I guess meant "yes") and a day later they were married at the preacher's house. Unknown to them at the time, her brother Claude got married the same day in the next state about 45 miles away.

Now some will question the romance of this short courtship, but somehow it must have worked. Hubert and Rose were married just short of 40 years before he passed away on Dec 3, 1994. She lived alone for 17 years and her blue eyes always sparkled when she told this story. On November 26, 2011, Rose met Hubert again in heaven.

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