How the Grandparents Met

R’s grandparents are still alive. His grama just turned 84. His grandfather will be 87 in February.

I asked tonight how they met.

GPa was in the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Depression. So was GMa’s cousin. One day, when GPa had been there for almost a year the CCC had an “open house” for families of the young men who were in the CCC. So GMa went with her family, anything to get off the hill. Each of the guys working were assigned to show the visitors around their assigned work area.

GPa only had an eighth grade education. (Common for the time. My grandfather had an eighth grade education as well.) But while he was in the CCC he learned to use the typewriter in the office. From that point, he became the timekeeper. Then he got a promotion to Supply Sergeant.

So when the tour got to him, GPa says that GMa was the only one in her group who was interested in touring the supply room. So he gave her the tour.

GMa went home and told her mother that she wanted to write GGPa. But GGGMa said she couldn’t write him unless he wrote first. So she wrote her cousin, “put a bug in his ear,” and he wrote.

They started dating. GMa called it “going together.” Then they had some spat. His sister had been invited down and she came and spent a week with GMa’s family at Christmas time. And at some point GPa came around with a wedding ring and an engagement ring.

GMa said she’d have gone to college instead of marrying GPa, if she could have gone to college, but that her dad didn’t have any money to help her go to school. So, she said, since she couldn’t go to college, she had to do something to get off the hill. That was her rationalization anyway. I know she regrets not going to college. But she doesn’t regret what she did do. She and GPa got married.

They say God got them together and kept them together. In April they’ll have been married 68 years.

The only thing I know about how my grandparents met was my mom’s mom’s parents. And the only thing I know is they met at Berkeley on May 13th.

I do know my dad’s mom was a maid and my dad’s dad was a cowboy. He owned a leather jacket and a car. (That was a huge deal in the 30s.– The car, not the leather jacket.)