It was the summer of 1952 when I had my 21st birthday on a bus headed for Chicago. (At that time you weren’t able to vote, drink, or be considered an adult until you were 21.) I stopped off in Fort Smith and Van Buren, Ark. to visit my grandfather and many aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. on the way there and back at the end of the summer. Grandfather, Andy Scott, told me I’d be married before the end of summer, and I said “no way”, and meant it.
I arrived in Chicago alone with two other college students, a girl from Texas Named Margie, and a young man from Kansas Named Jim Glass. Our arrival was too late for the bus that took the other college students to Camp Gray in Saugatuck, Michigan where we would be counselors to children from the Neighborhood Houses of Chicago under the Presbytery of Chicago. We had a day to wait in order to take a train to Saugatuck late afternoon. The Presbytery treated the three of us to lunch, a movie, and stage show that afternoon. It was so much fun to be in Chicago for the first time.
That evening we took the train (The Chesapeake and Ohio RR) , and at dinner time we went to the diner car. But they wouldn’t seat us. We waited and waited. Then Jim got an idea. He went back to our car and got his coat. When he returned wearing it, we were seated immediately. They had rules of living in those days that young people today wouldn’t believe. We were met at the station in a nearby town and driven to the camp.
Each of us would work with a small group of campers, but we were assigned additional work too. I was to be the camp nurse since I had experience assisting our high school nurse, and a nurse at a Brownie camp I had worked at another summer. (There was an RN at the Presbytery’s adult camp next to us, if I need it.) Jim was assigned to be the Athletic Director. At the end of summer I was to have preschoolers who would accompany women for the last two sessions.
Then we were told that one boy and one girl would have a day off once a week. We could sign on with anyone we wanted to, but if we didn’t select someone the Director would make assignments. Jim and I had our days off together. We didn’t realize until after we were married that the director had put us together. So on each day off we would hike, or go to the movies, or picnic together. And we enjoyed it, but never thought we were falling in love. The other counselors mostly paired off and had big romances, but not us. We just had fun together.
At the end of summer, we were all treated to a yacht ride on Lake Michigan. There on the deck in the moonlight, Jim asked me to go to Chicago with him for the last weekend before I left for my trip home. He said he had aunts there that we could stay with and we could attend the Fourth Presbyterian Church there on Sunday where the moderator of General Assembly whom I had met in San Diego would be preaching. I said okay. But the next morning I was ready to back out, thinking how my Dad would be terrified if he knew his daughter would be going to the big awful city to people she didn’t know. But I couldn’t find Jim all day while we were busy closing down the camp. When I did find him he said he had been hiding from me so I couldn’t back out and he had gotten up early and made arrangements with his aunt.
So I went and we had a wonderful time. The Italian ladies who had been our last group of campers gave a real authentic Italian dinner for all of us counselors, complete with wine. It was wonderful. We didn’t find the Fourth Presbyterian church, so just went into a church we were passing on foot. We stayed until the parishioners were called up for foot washing so we slipped out the back door. Every thing was fun for us that summer. We still didn’t know we were really in love.
Back in San Diego I finished my last year of college, while in Chicago, Jim finished his first year of Seminary. We wrote every night. We no longer felt like dating anyone else. By October, we knew we were in love. In Feb. he phoned and asked me to marry him. I said yes. (He wrote good letters) But also that summer and through our mail, we knew we shared the same values in life, wanted the same things, and by then knew we wanted to be together the rest of our lives.
So on May 28, 1953, we were married before a full church of friends and family.The Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church was my home church where I had grown up. Jim and I began our life together in Pacific Beach, but in August we moved to Chicago to McCormick Seminary where Jim continued the next two years to get his Master of Divinity degree.
This is how our love story began. I left out a few details like when he sliced his hand at camp when he was whittling and watching me walk up the path to the other camp, or how the few times we got to sit together at meals, he would pour a bit of water on my chair when I got up to bring or refill our dishes as we ate family style. Then I would watch for it,but he always knew when he could fool me again. I will continue this saga at a later time. But this was the beginning.