This the last entry about Mom and Dad's courtship in the little black book.
Of course this entry is a little longer than the others and just in time for Mother's Day.
THE FORMAL ENGAGEMENT
On Easter we became engaged and I was very happy. We decided not to tell anyone for a while, until Marge received her ring. Only we would tell our parents. Mother and Daddy were not surprised for they knew well my intentions as loving parent do. And they were happy with me when they knew that Marge and I were to become married.
With the passing of a few days the opportunity presented itself for me to ask for the blessing of Marjorie's parents upon our engagement. I was a little bit nervous. They were not surprised. To have their approval made everything quite perfect. Mr. Curtis said to me that I was getting an usual and wonderful girl who was well prepared for homemaking. We both knew that angels were not common upon the earth, dressed in robes of intelligent preparation, crowned with virtue, mild in manner, and powerful in goodness. Angels are scarce. Marge is truly an angel. I thank my Heavenly Father that he led me to her.
Marge's birthday was coming up on the 27th of April, 1951. I decided this would be the day to give her the ring. But she was to be surprised.
We made plans to celebrate her birthday at the Beta Chapter Spring Dinner Party planned for the 27th at the Institute.
The most beautiful white orchid that I could order was sent to her while she was preparing for our date together. When I arrived she was aglo in spirit and I knew that I had made her very happy. And so I was over joyed.
She saw me bring in a birthday package which I told her she was not to open until we returned. It was from Mother and Dad for her. But she was to think that it was from me so that she wouldn't guess that I was going to give her the ring that night--I wanted it to be a perfect surprise.
We left for the party, but drove to the parking before the Capitol Building. There in the grandeur of this edifice and the inspiring view of the sparkling valley before us as stars in the dark, I placed the ring upon the hand of my angel. We were very happy together.
I had spend many hours in planning and contemplating the nature of the ring which she was to wear. The stone must stand out from all else, even as she did, not held down by the unbeautiful, for she would ever be advancing. And so it did.
We arrived at the party and watched the movies that were shown, for about an hour. Then we left the lounge and entered the banquet hall. It was elegantly set and decorated.
While standing in line, the dinner was served buffet style, someone noticed her ring. Soon everyone knew and shared our happiness with us.
When all were served and seated we began to eat. Then to my joy and surprise everyone sang together, "Happy Birthday Dear Marge" and congradulated us on our engagement.
The whole evening was delightfully spent with my darling, dancing and planning together, and enjoying the company and friendship of ones true pals. I believe that we both felt it had been a wonderful time, and a wonderful place to tell others of our happiness.
We left soon after midnight., from this most wonderful party, and soon were to her home. Our prayers together this night were as I always hope they may be: said arm in arm, filled with hope, thanks-giving and eternal love.
That's a wrap. There is a lot more in this book, which I will share with you over time. But this is the pertinent entries relative to Mom and Dad's courtship.
Enjoy the memories. Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Of course you are all excited for the next episode of Dad's little black journal.
The next entry is a message a page-and-a-half in length from the little black book. Therein Dad describes his proposal of marriage to Mother. His sentiments are real and from the heart, but I think you will agree when I say we benefited from this decision as much as he did. Like all of you, I miss Mom and Dad terribly.
I often reach for my phone intending to share a joy with them or prepare to include their names in an email when I need to ask for advice. It is hard not to do that. I never knew I would need Mom and Dad so much as a new parent and grandfather. I am so grateful for the sage advice contained in their personal histories. I look forward to sharing with them again soon.
Today we can enjoy one more important event in Mom and Dad's lives.
Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951, was the day on which I planned to propose. And I did.
In the morning I took a taxi to her home where I met her in a lovely new jumper that she made herself for Easter. Her corsage had arrived in time for it to be worn to church. She looked lovely and the two red camillas went well with her Jumper.
Marge, Jerry, her sister, and I went to Sunday School together and enjoyed the Easter Program. We sat with Marge's class of girls while Marge took her place on the stand. She gave the second of four talks, which, with the musical numbers made up the Easter Program.
Her talk was good and I was proud of her.
We took pictures after Sunday School and then Oliver, Bev, Harold, and Ellen picked us up and took us with them to the Easter Choral Services at the Tabernacle which began at 2:00. We enjoyed it.
Oliver let Marge and I off at my house where we talked to the folks for a few minutes and then took our car to the New House Hotel for a smorgasbord dinner in the Royal Room. It was very nice and I was happy to be able to take Marge there.
The food was good, we talked and ate until we were full, and left at about 7:30.
We drove through town from the New House Hotel, up 21st So. along the Alternate Highway from the mouth of Parley's to the mouth of Emigration Canyon, up past Brigham Young's Monument, through Emigration Canyon, down parley's Canyon, and back again to the Brigham Young Monument (That is, the "This Is The Place Monument" with him at the top, in the mouth of the Canyon). Here, overlooking the monument and the city we stopped and talked and she said she would be my wife.
We reached her home by a little before eleven o'clock, read from Matthew and from the book on Marriage which she has, knelt together in prayer, and left just after midnight.
It had been a wonderful day and I was very happy. I was to have an angel for a wife. I was truly happy.
There you go. You'll have to wait a little bit for the next three pages FORMAL ENGAGEMENT, which I will share shortly.
Enjoy these great memories.
I Need Thee Every Hour
“Maintain an enriching relationship with each other"
Of course you are all excited for the next episode of Dad's little black book journal.
As promised, I am sharing the next two pages of the little book where captured his memories. These sentiments include some of my favorite stories Dad used to tell, like the time he and Mom spent the whole evening in the kitchen preparing the food for the dance. Mom never protested. Dad said that was an important characteristic of Mom; she worked hard and did what had to be done without complaint. Here are two more pages exactly:
FALLING IN LOVE
My first date with Marjorie was to a University of Utah football game. Oliver and Bev double dated with us. I liked Marge and wanted to take her out again.
But only with time, though it didn't take very long, did I really begin to love her. In fact, after taking her to the football game and leaving her at her home, I took another girl to a dance that night.
I took other acquaintances out for a few weeks, but soon took Marge to a Sport Dance at the Union Building. I liked her more and when the Lamba Delta Sigma Formal Dance was held at the new Institute I asked her. I was careful to ask her well in advance, and was very happy to find she could go with me.
That night we saw Dave there and I knew when he came and asked to trade a dance that I had asked "his girl."
Thanksgiving, 1950, found me still interested in this beautiful soul whom I had just began to know for what she was.
I took Marge to the afternoon football game and out to a show that night. She asked me to come to her place for Thanksgiving dinner. It made me very happy and I did.
The following night afraid five formal dances in a row would be too fast a rush, I took another girl to a formal dance at the BYU as guest of Reed Page.
This was the last time that I took out any other girl. Being with Marge all day, and enjoying a beautiful dinner at her home was opportunity enough to see unfolded the angelic traits that she possessed.
Marjorie was the twenty-third girl whom I had dated, as I could remember, since my mission. She was the third of all of them whom I had cared to kiss, and did. I think it was the night of the formal. If not, it was Thanksgiving.
It is not strange that I should remember this so poorly, for throughout our growing friendship this never became an end or a preconceived desire.
I grew in love for her and admiration with each hour spent together. Feeling my love grow caused me to exercise caution. But I constantly found myself starting to say that I lvoed her when I knew it should wait until a deeper friendship grew.
We soon limited ourselves to one date a week, plus Sundays at church together. Not all dates were play though all were wonderfully fun. We painted her room and papered it, spent New Year's Eve Celebration in the kitchen at the Institute preparing food for a Smorgasbord--instead of eating it and dancing as we had planned, with the other 260 there that night. These are just a few of the many things we did together.
To tell them all would be to tell the story of how I learned to love her for her kind and considerate ways, her emaculate and dignified manner, her love for God and man.
We worked, planned, prayed, and grew together. And I knew that I loved her.
There you go. You'll have to wait a little bit for the next two pages PROPOSING, which I will share shortly.
These glimpses into Mom and Dad's lives make me feel close to them and remember well how lucky we are to have them both for parents. I wonder how we've been so fortunate to have the best parents a family could hope for. Their legacy lives on.
It's late and time for bed. Sweet dreams.
“Having been born of goodly parents"
Of course you remember today is Mom's birthday. When I realized that this morning, I played one of her favorite tunes during my walk e.g. Army of Helaman
Couldn't decide which would be her favorite rendition, so I linked to a bunch. Take your pick. She often told me that was a favorite song.
In her honor on this special day, I am going to share something with you that I expect most of you have never seen--maybe none of you have. Dad had a little black book that he kept and wrote down his sentiments on occasion. Actually, he carefully typed these words on small pages (both sides), and today I am going to share with you the first two pages exactly:
WHEN FIRST WE MET
Saturday, September 30, was the day. The New England Mission Reunion was held in the evening at the beautiful Colonial Hills Chapel. The year was 1950.
While we were gathered together in the Chapel for the Program I saw Dave Hinckley, my former missionary friend in Nova Scotia.
But most important to me was the girl who he was with. She was pretty and sweet. I wanted to meet her but as I remember, the opportunity did not arise for I only shook hands with Dave in passing. If a face can radiate revealing a beautiful spirit that lives within, then I knew of a beautiful soul when I first saw her.
That night I left with a supressed sorrow that I had missed a golden chance to meet a wonderful girl. I felt I would probably never see her again and so I must forget the matter. So I did.
A few weeks later Lamba Delta Sigma held their get acquainted party for all the members and visitors who cared to come.
The party began when several persons received groups of about twenty persons, at their homes for games and refreshments. One group came to my home.
When the parties had ended we went to one of two roller skating rinks where we skated together in a large body for the remainder of the evening.
This is where I saw her again. But, the glimpses of her were few and far between as she would be swallowed up again in the large crowd as we skated around the rink.
Of all the persons there that night--and I suppose that there were several hundred--only two persons interested me enough to want to meet them and take them out. She was one.
The evening drew on and closing time was soon at hand, and I hadn't yet had a chance to meet her. I remember the regrets I had after seeing her at the reunion and failing to meet her then. I promised myself this second opportunity would certainly not be wasted.
I looked carefully until I saw her at the side with another person, sitting and talking. I skated over and talked to her and felt sad for sure when I found that another person would take her home afterwards and that I would not enjoy the opportunity.
But I had met Marjorie Curtis at last, talked with her, and knew I would soon take her out. And I was happy.
I also met the other person who had caught my eye this night and took her out--but only once, for after that I took Marge out and interest in the rest was quickly lost.
That's it. You'll have to wait for the next two pages FALLING IN LOVE, which I will share shortly.
I am grateful for these glimpses into Mom and Dad's lives and eternally grateful for our mother. She saw in all of us potential, hope, and joy, then she lived to make those a reality for all of us.
You are all familiar with the famous rendition of the 2000 Stripling Warriors by Arnold Friberg. I always wanted to be like that, but I wasn't. I was a short, little scrawny dude with glasses. But Mom never saw me that way. Every day I try to live up to the person she saw in me and every day I fall short. She sees more in all of us than what we could really become in this lifetime. But her encouragement drives us on still.
I am beginning to see from her perspective. I found another favorite video, which each time I watch reminds me of her and how she sees stripling in all of us, whether we can see it or not.
I love you Mom.
“The weak things of the world shall come forth"