Thursday, December 18, 2008

a love story

as Christmas draws near, i am reminded of another reason that day is special, my grandparents' (on my mother's side) wedding anniversary. they were such wonderful people and i treasure their memories.

these dishes belonged to my grandparents who were married on Christmas day of 1924 in corinth, mississippi. when my gran'dad passed away they had been married 61 years! they were a wonderful example to our family in their love for the Lord and for each other. how thankful i am that their story was recorded in a book that he self-published for his family. his book begins, "What follows is a true story of my 77 years on this earth. I relate it all, mostly good but also not so good. There is nothing that I am ashamed of. I wrote this story just because per chance my precious family may care to know just what makes me tick."

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

"On July 8, 1923 a boy and girl met by chance or what I was later to know was planned by God. My cousin Helen Wiegel had married Mattie Vance's brother, Clayton Archer. They lived in an apartment in Chicago. Mance had been given a round trip ticket from Corinth, Mississippi, as a college graduation gift to visit them. I had been living in Chicago for about 4 years. I had spent the first week of my vacation at a friends home in Wisconsin. On the morning of July 8 i returned to Chicago and on phoning Helen and Clayton they invited me to have dinner with them and mentioned that Clayton's sister was there. So, at 1:30pm I met their sister who was to be my wife for at least 52 years! Now, I had gone out with several girls but marriage was never in my mind, but one look at Mance and my heart went ping! We went to dances and shows for a week when Mance was due to go back to Corinth but for some reason she decided to stay another week! I was happy! We took a boat trip on Lake Michigan to a summer resort with Helen and my Dad. Helen often told about how she never saw us. We were on cloud 9!

"Mance returned to Corinth where she was to teach school. So from then till a year following we carried on a correspondence courtship with daily letters, except when I went to see Mance in Feb. 1924 for a weekend and for 2 weeks in July 1924 and of course when I went down to get married on Christmas Day 1924! So here were a girl and boy who were very different in many ways. Mance had been raised by loving parents, who I had learned to very much. She had 3 brothers and one sister Bess who was just great, she had 2 sons Dana and Jerry. Mance had gone to college and although her family was poor in a material sense, they were rich in a spiritual sense. The south and the rest was a new world to me! As for me, I had been in an orphan's home, had but a grade school of formal education, very little church or Sunday school and was left on my own after age 14! So, we were directly opposite!

"I have written the background. Now for some events between July 8, 1923 and Christmas 1924. I told about going to Corinth in Feb. 1924. I had bought a diamond ring on time and headed on cloud 9 to my love. I shall always recall stepping off that train. The natives had built fires at homes using pine logs. The fragrant odor of pine wood was great. While on that train I wondered if Mance's folks would go for a damned yankee and a Republican conservative. But all my worries were dispelled when I sat down with Mother and Dad and asked them for Mance's hand in marriage! Wow! Truly, I was in tears of joy when they gave us their blessing!

"Then I went down in July 1924 for my vacation for 2 wonderful weeks...Mance and I had a glorious time those two weeks. We agreed to put off our wedding till Christmastime. The wedding was in Mance's home. It was simple and unpretentious but beautiful. Jim, Henry and Jessie were there and 5 of Mance's college friends came. One sang beautifully while another played the piano. The Baptist Pastor married us. I had brought along a bouquet of sweetheart roses. Mance was simply beautiful. The wedding concluded, we boarded the IC train and had our own private drawing room. When we arrived in Chicago the temperature was a cold 17 below zero! But we didn't care. Ah me! "

These are the words of my gran'dad from the autobiography he wrote for his family entitled, The Life and Times of Herman Weinberger written in 1976.

everyday gift: God's faithfulness to all generations


Anonymous said...

My dear Stacy, You are the most thoughtful daughter and gran'daughter ever. I'm sure your Grandmom and Granddad are looking down and loving your sweet memories of them as their 84th anniversary approaches! Thanks for the memories, Honey. Love, Mom

Karen Beth said...

Beautiful story! I'm from and live in Corinth, Mississippi. :)

stacy said...

karen beth,

thanks for stopping by everydaygifts and for the kind comment!

i hope to one day visit corinth and photograph the train stations and homes mentioned by my gran'dad.


Amy said...

What a wonderful treasure. I love this!! He is exactly right, isn't he? That you would wonder what made him tick?

Lynn said...

Stacy, that's the sweetest story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I would love to see a picture from that wedding day!


Tonya said...

that is so cool!!
Love that story...