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Kudos to Fall Issue
Editor’s Note: The Office of Alumni Relations received the following letters in response to the annual Valentine’s Day card mailed to alumni couples. Some submissions have been edited for space considerations.
My husband Don and I would like to thank you for our annual Valentine greeting. Each and every year have been greatly enjoyed and appreciated….This year Don and I are enjoying our 50th year of marriage. I thought it would be an appropriate time to share our Wittenberg meeting.
In September of 1957, the tradition of the school was to require all obedient freshmen to wear in public the red little beanie, which sported a white W above the bill. After a week on campus, I wandered out one morning and realized that – to my absolute horror – I had forgotten my beanie. Being an obedient girl, I became immediately frantic. Who knew what horrors awaited a lovely freshman who had committed such a grevious misdemeanor? Sort of like disregarding Nathanial Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter!
On the circle in front of Myers Hall a strawberry-blonde blue-jean clad fellow neophyte was leaning against the stone bench. I had noticed him previously on campus because of his unusual hair. He was wearing – miracle of miracles – a red beanie!
After returning his hat to him, we saw one another at a frat pledge party (with other escorts). From that evening, we were an inseparable pair – and remain so to this day. Thank you for bearing witness to our Wittenberg love story. We have many happy memories of our lives there.
I graduated from high school on a Thursday night, and I won a Trades and Labor scholarship, which was sponsored by the local labor unions. On Monday, I registered at Wittenberg, and on Tuesday, I went to my first class, which was psychology. There I saw Bob, and I, who had thought there would never be anyone for me, knew right off that I liked him. He, too, was shy, a trait that I liked. … BUT he never noticed me – not then or in the days and weeks that followed. I usually had to work in the president’s office every hour I was not in class, so when I learned that some of the students in psychology class were meeting in the library before class to study together, I skipped work, and I, too, went to the library just to be near Bob. Still, he didn’t notice me.
I even got so I would go to class early just to watch him walk in. No notice. Then one day he came in before the others, and I knew it was now or never. I reached up and broke a strand of pearl beads, which went rolling all over the room. Gentleman that he was, he crawled all over the room, picking each and every one of those beads up and bringing them to me. AND at least he noticed me.
He would sometimes talk to me at the library, and you can be sure I took to heart the lesson I had learned in high school – I pretended not to know anything, I asked him questions, and I made sure he didn’t know I was in school on an academic scholarship. Then a sorority asked me to attend its spring dance, and I asked him to go, which he did. The rest is history – and now you know why pearls are my favorite beads.
In November of 1942, Dr. Remsberg, the school’s pastor, married us in the Hamma Divinity Chapel with many professors and students in attendance. Now, 62 years later with four sons and seven grandchildren, one of whom graduated from Wittenberg in 2001, we appreciate each additional day we are granted to be together. We wonder what our lives would have been like if I hadn’t had those pearls around my neck.
This is the love story of two students who met at Wittenberg almost 58 years ago and have been soul mates ever since. The story really begins in a tent in Okinawa one night in November 1945. I had a dream. I was going home soon, and I was going to attend a college, not large, but with vine-covered buildings, hills and vales, lots of trees and varsity athletics. Just like in the movies.
The next night I had the same dream, but now I was in school participating in numerous social and athletic activities. The next night was a continuation of the same dream but with the addition of a wonderful little lady in my life. She has been that for almost 58 years, and that’s no dream.
Upon getting out of the Air Corps, a friend and I toured some selected colleges in Ohio. When we arrived on the Wittenberg campus, I could hardly believe that I had found a campus from my dream in Okinawa six months earlier. I enrolled right then for the fall term of 1946.
The other star in the story is Rita Langenhan Hollis. She was the pretty little girl I met along the way. Rita enrolled for the fall term in 1947, and in less than a year, I would have to say that together, we were an “item” on the campus.
We were together constantly, except for summers, which we separately spent at summer school (two for her and one for me). I finished in January 1950 (class of ’50). Rita finished in August 1950 (class of ’51). We had our wedding planned for early September 1950, but I was recalled back to active duty. We decided instead on Aug. 23, 1950, during a delay-in-route I had obtained to change bases.
Rita graduated in June 1951. Our first born, Nancy, shared the stage with her, not on stage but there nonetheless. She was born in October 1951. Our other daughter, Sandy, was born in October 1954, and together they have given us two great sons-in-law and seven wonderful grandchildren.
We have moved a lot in our married life because of my jobs in sales and sales management, but we have lived in lovely places in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest and have made some wonderful friends along the way.
Texas has finally become our home. We have lived in Dallas twice, totaling almost 25 years. Our families are here, and we feel very fortunate to have them all very close. That’s the way we want it.
So that’s our story. It started with a dream and continues with a bit of mirth, travel, friends, family and a lot of love everyday.
Our thanks for remembering Larry and me on Valentine’s Day. Here is our story.
I was an older student – 33 when I arrived from Detroit, Mich., in 1953 to begin my studies, and he, Lawrence Jackson ’49 was the Bookstore manager/asst. business manager working under Business Manager Lou Fitch. My good friends Ed ’55, ’58H and Emma Moeckel were trying to fix me up with a date, which wasn’t easy because of my age. The former Bookstore manager, Mrs. Lillian Dunmire, was trying to find bachelor Larry Jackson a date, so she had the four of us over for dinner one night, then put Larry and me in the kitchen to do the dishes.
There I learned that Larry had relatives in Detroit. We seemed to hit it off, and he walked me back to my dorm, and that was the last I heard of him!
Six months later there was a dance to which the women had to ask the men – turnabout it was called. I wanted to ask Larry, but under the circumstances wondered whether I should. So I asked Ed if he knew what happened to Larry. He asked Mrs. Dunmire, who spoke to Larry, and word got back to me that he would like to hear from me.
We attended that dance and many others and were married on April 14, 1957, in Hamma Chapel by Dr. Robert Remsberg ’31, a family friend, professor of religion and college chaplain at the time.
We left Springfield in 1963, lived and worked in New England and upstate New York for 31 years and returned in 1994 to spend the rest of our lives in retirement in Larry’s hometown.
Probably my “romantic story” is not too exciting to be published, but the Valentine’s Day card did inspire me to submit a story of a wonderful and long-lasting romance between Mary Dickey and Glenn Wise.
In September 1936, I had just said goodbye to my date at the Alpha Xi house and was waiting for my fraternity brother Louie Frautschi to say his goodnight to his date when he hurried out into the reception hall to talk to a really cute girl who had just come in.
On our way back to the fraternity house, I iquired as to who that pretty girl was, and he informed me that it was Mary Dickey, a friend of his from Toledo. With no hesitation, I asked him if he could arrange a double date with he and his girlfriend. No problem. The first date was probably a 10-cent movie downtown and from then on it was walks around the campus and town, an occasional nickel Coke at the Barn (the Student Union), a movie when I had some money, and the sorority and fraternity dances. This went on for two years until Mary graduated.
After both of us had graduated, the long-distance courtship continued, culminating in a wedding in 1941. So here it is 64 years later, parents of two fine sons, both Wittenberg graduates, two great daughters-in-law, one a Wittenberg graduate, and three fine grandchildren, all because our parents sacrificed to send us to Wittenberg, and I had a date at the Alpha Xi house.
I met Lecia Beck at Wittenberg on a cold day in November, and I knew I wanted to marry her. She was on the captive free team that came to lead worship for chapel. She was cute and not like any other girl I had ever met. She also had a cold, and I convinced her that tea was the thing she needed, not the cold, musty old library (not that the library is any of those things). But I convinced her it was, and I won. I made her tea. She and her group who seemed to vanish stayed till the wee hours of the morning. I helped her on with her mittens and coat and said goodbye. I was to see her at chapel the next day but after that, it was up to me.
So I gave her all my information and told her to call me or write, and she did. She came to visit me on her Christmas break, and we walked to the bridge where I gave her our first kiss. It was the push we needed because this coming January of 2006, we will be married where we met at Weaver Chapel and start our lives together all because of a wonderful cold, a cup of tea and a kiss on a bridge in Springfield Ohio.
Wittenberg Magazine P.O. Box 720 Springfield, Ohio 45501-0720
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