Both of my parents passed away before I thought to ask them how they met. Those things were not topics of discussion while I was growing up. However, in the past few years, I have asked my older cousins, but they all said they don’t remember how my parents met.
My initial thought was that they met at the home where my mother was working. My mother grew up in the East Texas town of Hemphill. During the 1920s and ‘30s, most children went to work to help support the family when they became teenagers. Since my mother was a teenager when she married, I assume that she left home to find work in her late-teen years. She worked as a housekeeper for a family on Atascocita Road, which was about 10 miles from where Daddy lived.
Daddy was a farmer and handyman. He was a very talented carpenter who built the three-room house that was our family home. Therefore, I made the assumption that Daddy probably did some carpenter work at the home where Mama was a housekeeper. That was my supposition until recently when another notion about how they may have met occurred to me.
The social activities during the l920s and ‘30s were usually church activities and parties in private homes. One of Peggy Hoffman’s columns in a Humble newspaper was about a party at my grandparents’ home. My Aunt Estelle Woodyard recounts stories of the parties in her book, Pioneers and Sundry Times.”
Other aunts talked about going to parties at the homes of friends. It was important to each of them to attend the parties. However, Daddy, being the oldest of 10 children, was the only one allowed to drive the family car. He would tell his sisters that if they didn’t do what he wanted during the week, they would not be allowed to ride with him to the parties on the weekend.
Yes, he was a very spoiled man, but this illustrates how important it was for the young ladies and young men to attend the parties. This leads me to believe that my parents may have met at a party in someone’s home.
With the thought of parties in homes comes many questions. How did the young people communicate with each other to find out about the parties? There were no telephones at that time. There was a post office, but the mail would have been slow. Did they have a relay-type system where one person passed the invitation to another until it reached the hands of all of the invitees? Was the location of the party for the next weekend announced at the party which was taking place? I have a number of questions, but can only make assumptions.
Life during the 1920s and ‘30s was so different from life as we know it that we can only draw conclusions about the activities of our ancestors. However, we do know that the young ladies and young men found ways to meet just as the young adults and older people of today.