Friday, June 20, 2014

Sepia Saturday: The Proposal

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is a wedding.  This photo of my mother in 1948 looks very much like a wedding procession.  However, it is far from it.
 
Mary Eleanor Davis Shenandoah College 1948
Mary Eleanor Davis (Slade)
Shenandoah College, Dayton, VA  1948
Momma was the Maid of Honor in the May Court at the 14th annual May Day Festival at Shenandoah College.  A detailed account of this college tradition was the subject of an earlier post which you can read HERE.

But that day held another memory for my mother beyond the festivities culminating in the crowning of the Queen of the May.  It was a marriage proposal. 

Momma’s handsome escort was a student at Shenandoah College, and quite popular, too.  I imagine most participants in such pageantry chit-chat about the weather, about the reception food, about how everyone looks in their evening apparel.  But this guy had other things on his mind.  He proposed.

The proposal went something like this:  “Will you marry me?  Think about it, but be quick with your answer.  If you say no, I’m going back home to Connecticut and ask this other girl.”

After those heart-felt words, Momma turned him down.  It’s hard to believe, I know.


I propose you visit Sepia Saturday for more weddings and celebrations.

36 comments:

  1. Good for your mom, Wendy. He obviously didn't deserve her. (But then, he probably didn't deserve the other girl, either!)

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    1. Yeah, now I wonder who the other girl was and how all that turned out.

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  2. What a great story! I'm glad your mother got away from that guy. She looks beautiful in that picture!

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    1. She did look beautiful -- always did.

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  3. I wonder, though - was there REALLY another girl, or was he a little desperate in his proposal to your mom thinking he had to force a response - hopefully, a positive one? If so, his tactic backfired. Either way, it does sound like your mom escaped a 'speeding bullet'.

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    1. Good point -- maybe he needed to get back to Connecticut to start looking.

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  4. Great story, and I'm glad you're handing it on along. What an honor for your mom (NOT the proposal) to be on the court and involved in all that hoopla.

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    1. If my daughters would pay attention to this blog once in a while, they might be highly entertained by such stories about their grandmother.

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    2. That's so funny - I feel the same way about my daughters. How can someone NOT be interested in learning about their family? Great story!

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    3. I say the same thing about my daughters - how can people NOT want to learn more about their family? This is a great story!

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  5. I remember your previous story about your mom's being on the court. But this story takes the cake. Did your mom know the guy before he was her escort or did they just meet that day? That's the worst proposal I've ever heard. Not a real sentimental type of guy, was he?
    Great post.
    Nancy
    Ladies of the Grove

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    1. He was a student there, and it was a small school, so no doubt she knew him prior to that day.

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  6. A terrific story about the fish that got thrown back. Maybe we should start a new series about alternate universes when our ancestors could have made a different choice.

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    1. Too sci-fi for me. I can barely handle my real ancestors!

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  7. Your mother looks beautiful. Also very glad that she turned him down! I wonder whether the girl in Connecticut also turned him down?

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    1. I wonder if there's someone out there blogging about their dad in the May Day court at Shenandoah College. Hmm ~

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  8. YAY Momma, had she said yes we wouldn't be as cute as we are. ;)

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    1. HA -- I don't know - we might have gotten better noses.

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  9. That fellow must have thought your mother was desperate, whereas it sounds like he was the desperate one really! The May Day Festival looks like a very elaborate event. Do they still celebrate that tradition at the college?

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    1. Shenandoah College that Momma attended moved from Dayton to Winchester and is now Shenandoah University. The college takes part in the city's Apple Blossom Festival which happens to be in May, but it's not the traditional "May Pole" kind of thing.

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  10. I’m pleased your mother turned him down; she looked quite a catch herself and not in need of such a desperate proposal.

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  11. I'm glad she was not as desperate as he appeared to be. Definitely a great escape - hers not his.

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    1. No, she wasn't desperate. And he certainly didn't need to be.

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  12. Like everyone else, I'm happy your mother waited for a better opportunity. I bet she didn't have to think too hard before turning him down.

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    1. Yeah, I'm glad too. I wouldn't be me -- and I'd hate to deprive the world of that!

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  13. Say what?!?! I guess marriage was included in what he considered "small talk." Astounding!

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    1. Truly astounding. I'm sure it was like a "Am I on Candid Camera?" moment (even though this predated CC).

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  14. WoW! You could have been doing genealogy on a whole different tree!
    Happy Weekend!

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    1. Oh yeah -- that's true. A whole different set of challenges.

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  15. That guy was a smooth talker. I wonder what the girl in Connecticut said!

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  16. An interesting and humorous post. Good one! Your mother apparently was very wise and quick witted.

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    1. That's the truth! She was wise and quick witted.

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  17. Pretty dress. Pretty hairdo. Pity about the pragmatic wife-seeker.. A male version of Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice.

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