As I write this it is April 1, 2006 and exactly 56 years since I first met your GranMa on April Fools Day in 1950. We celebrated our day by going out to dinner which cost GranPa $22.65.
For later reference, keep in mind the $22.65 price which was for meatloaf and green beans at the local coffee shop.
We usually celebrate two anniversaries every year, one for when we met and the other of course being the date we got married.
Having met on April Fools Day, it is a date easily remembered and has always been a cause for discussion about which of us was the greatest fooled.
Now on with the capture !!
In April 1950 at age 15 years and 7 months, GranPa lived in Lueders, Texas, Population 900 and attended the 9th grade at Lueders High School.
In April 1950 at age 14 years and 3 months, GranMa lived 14 miles away in Stamford Texas, Population 3,500 and attended the 8th grade at Stamford Grade School.
Each April Fools Day i.e. April 1st, The Lueders School had what was called "Play Day". This all day event held at the School house was pretty much just that, all the farmers came to town and the entire community gathered at the school house for three legged races, toe sack races, softball games and even a fishing reel contest to see which fisherman could come closet to casting their plug inside an old tire inside the school gymnasium.
Cake baking contest were held and crafts were displayed for awards.
Matter fact, GranPa won the best woodworking award one year for a table he made in the school work shop. (GranPa still has the table)
This all day fun affair was not held in the other surrounding communities. It was sort of a Lueders School exclusive.
The day was kicked off with a parade through downtown Lueders on Main Street. The whole complete one block of it.
In Texas you were able to obtain vehicle drivers licenses at age 14 because the farmers could use help from their children to drive the crops to market.
Although your Great Grandfather was in the Oil Well Service business he needed me to drive so he would have a vehicle to come home in when he took the oil rig out to work on an oil well.
Because of this, GranPa got his drivers license and was driving as soon as he turned 14 and the vehicle he learned to drive in was a 1947 civilian jeep.
GranPa had the jeep all fixed up with mud flaps and a few other extra goodies one of which I had constructed a seat from a 2 X 12, padded it and placed it between the two front jeep seats.
I wanted to make sure any girls I might encounter had ample opportunity to slide over and sit next to me.
Another of my madness was to out smart my dad and put the jeep in the Lueders Play Day parade and then not take it home but, go straight back to school after the parade and rip and tear with my buddies the rest of the day in the jeep around school and town.
A fun time for me and my buddies because it was the only time I was allowed to take the top off of the jeep and lay the windshield down. I would do that and decorate the jeep to advertise my dads Oil Well Service Business in the parade.
I now know, I never fooled my dad the least bit. He let me get away with it and use the jeep all Play Day because he was that kind of dad.
So, here we are on April Fools Day 1950 at the school house, the parade over and GranPa is ripping and tearing around the school grounds in the jeep with it full of his buddies, like Carol Felts, Max Dillard, Harold Backus, Homer Swinson, Kenneth Stanford and maybe a few others. Jeeps hold lots of young kids when they are foolish and full of energy.
Well now, as GranPa tells it, Your GranMa was running with this gang of hoodlums from Stamford, Texas and the whole gang had played hooky from their school and came down to Lueders because they knew we were having our Play Day.
GranMa tells it that she had this group of about 6 girl friends and some of them attended the Swede church which was located half way between Lueders and Stamford and they knew Greta Olson who also went to the Swede church but, attended school in Lueders with your GranPa.
So, the group of girls who knew Greta from church decided to skip school and attend the Lueders Play Day and GranMa, being part of the Stamford group, came too.
Greta who was a grade ahead of me at Lueders came over to GranPa and said this group of girls from Stamford want to go jeep riding and one of them thought I was about the cutest boy she had ever seen.
Well Now, no high spirited young boy from Lueders, Texas is going to turn down a chance to take a bunch of girls jeep riding so, the answer was SURE !!
Greta hollered over and told the gang of girls "Let's Go"
I noticed this one sweet thing make a mad dash for the jeep to get ahead of everybody and crawled into the middle seat next to GranPa. (I knew that extra middle seat was a good idea!!)
AND, Away we went ripping and tearing around town, I can't recall one word of our conversation we must of had except I can tell you the next Saturday night GranPa had a date with this sweet young thing of 14 years and 3 months who was in the 8th grade and thought I was the cutest thing.
Of course GranPa was a big shot freshman in high school at the age of 15 years and 7 months.
At the time, my dad wouldn't let me take the jeep much outside the city limits of Lueders except to go oil up the oil lease we pumped 3 miles east of Lueders in the Post Oak Community.
There was no television in those days and the entertainment of the day was going to the movies which in our day we called "The Picture Show".
GranPa's mother and daddy didn't go to the movies too often but, Greta's parents who were farmers went to the picture show in Stamford most every Saturday night. Lueders did not have a picture show.
So, Thanks to Greta and the Olson family, GranPa and GranMa begin dating on Saturday nights. I would go with the Olson's to the picture show and meet your GranMa and we would sit in the show and hold hands.
When the show was over, I rode back to Lueders with the Olson's and your GranMa of course went to her house.
We dated that way for a while and then my dad decided I was responsible enough to trust me with driving in Stamford our new 1950 Dodge pickup which replaced the jeep. However, this didn't mean I got to take the pickup to Stamford. My dad frequently attended Masonic Lodge meetings in Stamford on Monday nights.
Interestingly enough, I didn't even get to drive my dad to Stamford or back home. He would do the driving and then when we got to lodge he let me have the pickup. When I picked him back up at the lodge hall, He took over the driving.
So, I would ride up to the lodge meeting in Stamford with my dad and then he let me take the pickup out to GranMa's house and get her and we came back to town and went to the picture show which incidentally was only about 5 doors down from where the lodge hall was located.
If the movie was a long one, I had to take GranMa straight home in order to get back down and pick my dad up after his lodge meeting.
If the movie was a short one, we could go get a hamburger, malt, and french fries after the movie and then hustle back down to the lodge hall to get my dad.
Once after a hot date, I left my dad standing on the street waiting for me to get back and that didn't go over too well so, that only happened the one time.
I was working for my own money by this time but, dad only dished it out as I needed it and on my dates he gave me $2.00.
The picture show cost 12 cents each. Hamburgers and milk shakes were 25 cents each. French fries were 15 or 20 cents. Add all that up for 2 people and it comes to a whooping $1.65 for a nights entertainment with dinner out. Now relate that to the $22.65 which didn't include a movie.
Your GranMa and GranPa dated this way for a few months and then gradually, as my dad gained more confidence, I was allowed to take the pickup to Stamford alone and me and GranMa dated in a Red, 5 window, 1950 Dodge 1/2 ton pickup with fluid drive. (You Grand Kids never heard of a "Fluid Drive")
In August of 1951 when GranPa was starting his 11th grade of high school and was exactly 17 years of age, I got a 1951 light blue Henry-J automobile with the money I had earned and saved since age 12. It cost $1,500.00 and was brand new.
With my own car and nearly paying my own way, I was able to date GranMa every Saturday night and that is about the way it was until GranPa graduated from High School in May of 1953 at age 18 years and 9 months.
Your GranMa had another year of High School to attend but, that's for another story.
By The Way, your GranMa and her gang of hoodlums were punished with one weeks detention for playing hooky from school.
GranPa was punished 56 years for taking GranMa Jeep Riding.
But then again, Perhaps that is why GranPa has a jeep in the Family Museum