I met Mom working at the Harry Doehla Greeting Card Company [local company started in the 1920s: see article from 1962 http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19620630&id=xrUrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=1v4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=5126,5946058]
My first impression of her was that she was silly but not a wise guy and fun to be with; easy to please, but noisy; willing to do anything (within reason!). She didn't expect a lot of high-class attention and 30 years later she still don't get it!
Our first date was the stock car races in Hudson, New Hampshire. Our dates were band concerts, swimming at the beach, etc. NO DANCING! She didn't know how and I hated it. We very seldom fought although I was jealous and would get mad if anybody looked at her.
I knew she was the one for me because I felt very comfortable with her around and didn't have to do any acting or things I didn't want to in order to make her happy. We got along good in everyday life. And she was a good, clean girl with good morals, which was hard to find...Sounds like I just bought a nice car, huh? "Nice and clean and runs good."
Annie lived with my mom before we were married and they thought a lot of each other. So no problem telling her about marriage, but I got a lot of static from everyone else because she was a Catholic. But it made no difference to me anyway. I don't remember how I proposed, probably we were both under the car doing a motor job! The only reason I would hesitate in asking, I wanted to be sure I could support her and you kids properly without help. But she finally won.
We had a mutual understanding on how to raise you kids except the Catholic Church told me I had to agree that you kids would be brought up Catholic before we could marry in the Church. But we fooled them in the end! right? [Referring to the fact that both my sister and I and mom left Catholicism and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in the 1970s]
Looking back, I am very pleased and happy with my marriage to Annie and having you and Kelly was the greatest thing we ever had. To watch you two progress in life as you have is a very gratifying feeling--at least I feel I did something right!
[Account taken from a letter written to me, Gail Grant Park, dated August 12, 1979 when I was living in Belgium. The letter was in response to prompts I sent periodically to dad to get him to tell me his history. This prompt was to tell about his courtship and marriage to mom.]