The postcards to Grandma were a great success; sadly I did not start sooner. Like Grandpa, her memories of both the past and present are erratic. I never know from one conversation to the next if they will be crisp or foggy. So today, I am concentrating on postcard #3 written on January 10, 2010—Grandma and Grandpa before their marriage.
1. How, where, and when did you and Dad meet?
Your father came into Norda Chemical looking for a job. I was the one who gave out applications. He filled it out and I checked it and saw he had checked the wrong box for married, single status. Didn’t get that cleared up ‘til the summer company picnic when he asked me to dance and I asked him where his “wife” was. The following work day, he came into the office and asked for his application back and corrected his error.
2. Where did you go on your dates?
We would go dancing at a place on Route 23. (He was a very good dancer), an occasional movie, or just sitting on the porch (Whoopee!).
3. How long did you date until you got engaged?
We got engaged within a year at which time he was called back into service during the Korean War. He was stationed in Texas. Got married during one of his leaves and I went back with him.
4. Did Dad formally propose, and if so, tell me the details? Did he ask your father?
He did “ask my father for my hand in marriage” and I’m sure my father said, “Take the whole girl, not just her hand.” We drove back to Texas—a long boring ride. I was shocked I couldn’t get N.Y. stations—only cowboy music.
This is all for this letter. To be continued.
Grandpa had already served in the army for a period of four years during World War II. During the time of the Korean War, the Army began recalling members of the Inactive and Volunteer Reserves because they did not want to deplete all the Active Army personnel in case they were needed elsewhere in the world. This caused a lot of bitterness because many, like Grandpa, felt that they already served their country, but were recalled anyway.
Fortunately, they were back in New Jersey within five months. Grandpa told me once that there was a mistake in the paperwork—his name was misspelled—so he got out on a technicality. Was this really true? I’m not sure, but the funny thing is, his name was misspelled during his service during WW II (Wardmasky), but correctly during the Korean War (Wardamasky). Did that added “a” really make a difference? Did he avoid being shipped overseas because of that small mistake? It’s an interesting thought to ponder.