I wonder if my GranMa's early girlhood dreams included a young man from Virginia? Maybe.
He came to her hometown with the Norfolk & Western-and whether she initially had eyes for him-He did for her. The story goes that one day Bessie was walking along uptown and George-upon seeing her-pronounced to his friend- "See that girl in the red coat? I am going to marry her."
It was love at first sight for him & I am sure when Bess was properly introduced to George Joseph-she was impressed with this handsome, quick witted, intelligent man. From a fine Maryland family and though last in line for its wealth, she had to think he would make good-as they say- and he would.
A courtship, with bouquets & the passing of letters ensued. Some of the letters have been kept and they show a darling and clever George at his witty best.
A proposal was made.
The pair was married in her small family home with pine boughs and candles & a neat fire in the hearth.
The bride wore a simple blue suit-no doubt made by her mother's skillful hand and held a bouquet of parma violets the color of her eyes.
Bessie & George were married December 24,1916.
photographs from their Virginia honeymoon
The two had five children-four girls and one son. My mother- the youngest-was born in 1930. George died when my mother was 13. A young man. My GranMa would live to be 107. She never considered a second marriage and her GJ provided for her until the day she breathed her last and closed her truly violet eyes. She saw much with those eyes-always seeing him- and I hope at last- after sixty years of missing him- saw him that day.
Last weekend, I laid a double wreath of magnolia at their grave. The wreaths were linked together as George and Bess were December 24 1916, ninety four years ago today.