Each summer a trip my mother and her sisters looked forward to was taking the train from Roanoke to Bluefield to visit their Aunt Beulah Wagner and Uncle Dock. It was a two-day affair, as they had to take "The Motor" (local train) from Rocky Mount to Roanoke, spend the night at their Aunt Annie's (not far from Roanoke Depot), and board the Bluefield train the next morning.
Aunt Beulah anticipated their visits almost as much as her nieces, for she would cook up a storm! I dare say Uncle Dock and sons Paul and Gene enjoyed their company too.
It was the summer of 1936 and my mother was ready for her senior year of high school at Buffalo Ridge Mission School, a Baptist boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Not all three sisters could visit Aunt Beulah at the same time, particularly in the summers when farm work was heavy.
This particular visit, as I understand, it was my mother who got to go. There were certain events that most everyone attended, one being church and church revivals. So of course my mother went with Aunt Beulah to church that Sunday evening.
The proper style for men in those days was to wear a hat. This suited my dad, as it helped give him some height. Both his dad and younger brother had long passed him up, reaching over 6 feet.
This particular Sunday evening, the church was packed and my mom and her aunt took what space they saw available on the pew beside my dad. Only my mother did not see The Hat! That my mother almost crushed my dad's hat caused their meeting. I believe they both were smitten from the get go!
What followed was years of a weekly letter exchange and occasional visits by my dad to Franklin County, Virginia. My mother saved those letters, which I now treasure. The letters and occasional visits extended through my dad's graduation from Emory & Henry College and the two years of my mother's study at Radford College My parents initially taught school, with my mother taking employment in Tazewell County where the pay was considerably better than Franklin County, Virginia.
On April 4th, 1941 my parents were married at First Methodist Church in Tazewell, Virginia with my mom's good friends the Maxwells as witnesses. Our grandmother prepared their wedding dinner.
My dad, now with the support of a loving wife, was able to return to seminary at Emory University and became a Methodist minister. And their life together began at Macedonia!