The best decision I ever made was to marry Catherine Glenn. WeI met at a dance called" The Oaks". While in the Navy and training at Fort Mammoth in New Jersey and then New York City, I was able to get home on weekends and I would to go to the dances. But things changed. After serving three years in the Navy, I returned to the dances but things were different. The group that I normally danced with were either married or committed to a boyfriend. As I wandered around the dance floor, I saw this pretty girl with a beautiful smile. I asked her to dance and she agreed. Her name was Catherine. We danced the entire night together. She asked me to come to the St. Bonafice dance in the Kensington area the next night. With her good directions, I found the church and also Catherine. It was a repeat of the previous night, we danced together all night. That was the start of a relationship that eventually ended with marriage.
I got to know Catherine's family on our dating nights. Her Father never failed to tell she was" the prettiest girl in the house". She had two sisters at home. It was time to introduce her to my family. My Grandmother's house was first. After she hugged my Grandmother, my grandmother responded, "Lei `e una bella ragazza ma non italiano" ( she is a beautiful girl but she is not Italian). When I translated this to Catherine she gave her another hug. My mother and Uncles were very happy to meet her.
Love and Marriage...We were married on May 15,1948. It was a modest wedding. The hall was rented, the music a Jute Box, a gift from my Boyhood friends. Catherine and I managed to save some money during our courtship and it covered the refreshments. The biggest surprise was that my Father requested to attend our wedding. He also said that my brother and his wife and their small child would be with him --I had never met my Brother. The last time my Mother saw him, he was about eleven years old--It was a tearful reunion for my Mother . My Father made me promise that if I ever got to Chicago I would stop in to see him. It seemed like an empty gesture for why would I go to Chicago.. I discussed with my new wife Catherine about my desire to become an Engineer under the Goverment sponsored Education program for Veterans. She agreed . As the unpridicable often happen, I became an Engineer and my travels often took me to Chicago. Yes, I met him many times.. He was building homes on a land that he had purchased. He offered me one of the homes if I would move to the Chicago area. Both Catherine and I refused the offer..we both preferred staying close to our family. One final note about a Father, a boy needs a father while growing up.Unfortunately, I was deprived of that and as a result four Uncles trying to fill that void.I loved them all for their concern,but my sights in life were higher than they could grasp.