Friday, November 11, 2016

Day Eleven: Between The Meeting And The Marriage

Day 11: Describe the first meeting between two of your ancestors who would later get married. What are their first impressions of each other? Include any details you know about your ancestor’s appearance, occupation, age at that time, etc.

Summer 1939
Frances and Betty Isbell, with an unidentified friend
and Jane McSpadden, far right

She: Today I met the most handsome older man. Well, at least he was older to me...10 years older than I. His name is Allen and he is working this summer as a lifeguard at Myrtle Beach. We are spending some time here with our friends, the McSpaddens. Mr. McSpadden and my father are in the same business, and are cotton brokers. The McSpaddens own a hotel in Myrtle Beach and running it takes up their whole summer. Turns out Allen, who is 25, is in the cotton business, too, because his father died and Allen took over for him. (That's why he can lifeguard and hang out at the beach in the summer... It's "low season" in the cotton broker world.) Allen went to Chapel Hill and was thinking about a career in business, but he really wanted to explore his passion for flying, or so he said. I guess he won't have that chance now. I know I am too young for someone like him, but he sure is handsome! (And you wouldn't believe all the girls who clamor for his attention!!) 
Betty and Allen
He: I met the cutest young girl today...and boy, is she full of personality. She seems to have a lot of self-confidence, but she's not proud or smug...just a lot of fun. Her name is Betty and her dad, J.D., is in the cotton business just as my dad was - the same business I am in now. I must say, being a cotton broker isn't too bad. I like having the summer to be at the beach, and to fly in my off-time. I suppose it's blessing over all, but it still doesn't completely satisfy me. I really wish I could follow my heart and fly for a living. Not too many people do that, but I am still looking into it... In the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy the summer (especially all these cute beach bunnies...and maybe I'll just wait for that Betty to grow up a little more)!

The Rest of the Story

Allen did become an airline pilot and not only loved what he did, but was well respected in the industry, serving on a variety of committees and safety commissions. Betty went on to college and then moved to New York in the 1940's. Allen was living in New York at the time, too, and they saw each other on and off. Later they dated on a more regular basis and on March 1, 1958 they were married. He was 44 and she was 34. It was the first and only marriage for each and they had a wonderful life together... See this blog post from September for more! 

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