Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Dearest Daughter

lIn 1958 my mother got married and moved across the country. These are the letters written to her, mainly by her mother, between 1958 and 1960, as well as other artifacts from my family's past. Others in the series are in my del.icio.us file.

One of the reasons I continue to blog, is to have a place to keep family history, stories, events etc. documented for my children and possible grandchildren.

Yesterday would have been my parents' 53rd wedding anniversary. They were married on Saturday, July 26, 1958 in Saint Johns The Evangelist Catholic Church during a morning wedding mass. Attending my mother was her first cousin Janet Sue  (daughter of the infamous Aunt Opal!) and a woman mom met in college named Kay Langworthy.

I heard a lot of stories about Kay Langworthy over the years. She and mom were fast friends. I guess Kay and her husband came over to the farm once to visit with Mama and my grandmother was scandalized by their overly affectionate smooching on the couch in her living room. It bothered her enough that she told me about it when I was a teenager! Nonetheless, Mama must have liked her a great deal because my sister is named for her. Years later, the Langworthys divorced and Kay and her children visited my Dad on the ranch. She wrote my mom to talk about her love for my father and that she wished they would get a divorce. It was quite upsetting at the time- I'm not sure why, because my parents separated in 1960, but I do remember Mama crying about it. Nothing came of it though. I guess if Daddy wasn't going to his own wife and family life with him, he certainly wasn't about to take someone else's. I did try to find Kay Langworthy after mama died to let her know, but I couldn't find any address or envelope with her name on it; I guess that's just as well.

I'm not sure who the man standing beside my dad is, but next to him is Mama's brother, Calvin Leckrone Jr. I grew up calling him just "Uncle" all of my life. Next to him is Jim Moore. He and his wife Peggy were the godparents for my sister who was born in 1960. The little ring bearer is his son. The little flower girl was Mama's goddaughter, Denise. She gave her piano lessons for years and she always kept Denise's baby picture on her night stand - all through her life. When Mama died, I sent that picture to Denise.

Their wedding breakfast was catered by Whitey's Restaurant. I think it was Fish and Chips, but I do know that the meals came in white boxes tied with ribbon and every guest got one. I can't imagine giving your wedding guests a boxed meal at a wedding today, but it seems kind of quaint and practical for a wedding breakfast in 1958.

I still have mama's wedding dress. It really screams 1958! But I have it and maybe someday Izzy or Rosie can do something with it a la Pretty in Pink.  

I have a picture of myself in Janet's bridesmaid dress that she let me wear for a dance recital.  I'll try to dig that picture up later.


1958 Wedding party for Pete and Maryrose Esquibel

It's noteworthy that at the time of the wedding, my grandmother was not speaking to my mother.  She wrote later that it was because she was so heartbroken that Mama had married and moved across the country. I know that there was a lot of concern from a number of people about this marriage, but a week or so before the wedding, my Mom consulted Father Luke M. Powers about whether or not she should proceed with the wedding and he counseled her to go for it!  and so she did.

In retrospect, I have a lot of doubts about Father Powers' gifts as a pre-marital counselor, but he was loved and respected enough that years later when they closed all of the Catholic High Schools in the county and consolidated them into one big Catholic High School, they named the new school for him!Years later, my sister and I attended the new Catholic High School  - Luke M. Powers Catholic High School. This is where I met my husband, Mr. Pete - so coming full circle I guess it all worked itself out.


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3 comments:

JBO said...

Do you ever wonder why your parents never chose to divorce? They must have been so in love but something just held them apart.

Elena said...

It was the sacramental marriage thing. Mom didn't want a divorce. The did end up reconciling and living together from 1992 until my mother developed a brain tumor in 1998.

JBO said...

Her first and only love.
What an interesting story.
Had your grandmother passed away much before that decision to live together happened? She seemed like such a strong influence.

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