Saturday, July 8, 2017

Family Search 52 Stories Week 22

As I look at the various prompt questions I can select from each week, it makes me sad that I did not ask my parents and grandparents more questions. I know they told stories when I was growing up, but they just didn't interest me at the time. Of course now I wish I had written them down, or even better, recorded them.

Here is this week's prompt:

Do you know the story of how your parents met and fell in love? What about your grandparents?

It was 1941 and my father, Roy Kubler was twenty-four years old, living with his parents and two of his sisters, and working as an assorter for the Railways Express Agency in Cincinnati. The Railways Express Agency delivered freight from the railroad car to the customer, and Roy’s job entailed the routing of packages through the express terminal. 

My mother, Catherine Crusham, was the third oldest of eight children. She had dropped out of high school after completing her junior year in order to help support the family. She worked at a sporting goods manufacturing factory sewing basketballs. In 1941 she was twenty-one and living with her parents and six of her siblings.

They met when Roy was out driving with a friend one pretty spring afternoon in 1941. Catherine was standing on a street corner with her cousin Joan Armstrong when the two young men happened to pass by. As Roy's friend was acquainted with Joan, they stopped the car to chat. Roy was immediately attracted to Catherine's red hair and sparkling green eyes, and she to his tall stature and quick wit. The two began dating and found common interests in their backgrounds, music and dancing.

Joan on the left with Catherine in 1941
But WWII had cast a shadow over the light of their love. Anticipating that he would shortly be required to enter the military, on 10 January1942 Roy and Catherine applied for a marriage license. They married quietly on 17 January 1942 at Resurrection Church in Cincinnati, with only Catherine’s sister Margaret Crusham and their brother-in-law Lawrence Wambaugh in attendance. Two months into their marriage, the Army Air Forces called Roy into service.

While they had a difficult beginning to their marriage, the foundation held for 47 years until my mom was killed in a car accident in 1989. The example they set contributed in part to all of their children having successful, long-term marriages.

The story of how my grandparents met is one I don't know. I will be making a trip back to my birthplace later this year, so it is a question I will ask of my aunts. And this time I will listen, and write it down.