Young Love


Today my childhood best friend’s family hosted a 90th birthday celebration for their father. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of this family for over 50 years and to share in today’s celebration. Mulling over what birthday gift to give to him, I decided a matted picture frame with a copy of their wedding picture and a condensed version of the love story that his wife, Margaret, had shared with me when I recorded her life story would be priceless…and it was! Next month they will celebrate their 66th anniversary and as shown in pictures from today, they are still in love!

Margaret’s recollection shared on June 11, 2011 of how she met and fell in love with a young man named Ed:

“It was 1949, about four years after the war ended, when a family with three girls and a boy moved just across the street from where we lived. They treated me nice, very nice …all of them. One of the sisters married somebody that knew this young man. Her husband had been in the service. But he had lived with his family in Hammond and lived close to where Ed had lived.

I and two of the sisters belonged to a Bunco Club and one night one of the ladies in the club started telling us about this guy who came back from service. She talked about his beautiful blue eyes.

At that time of my life I was a roller skater and often went roller skating with these sisters. I really enjoyed it very much. Several of the kids that roller skated often stopped to get a drink and would go home. And one night that’s how I happened to meet him.

I watched Ed, and I could tell what she meant about him and his beautiful blue eyes. She introduced us to each other, and we went on our first date to Teibel’s which was at that time in North Hammond.

He got a ring and gave it to me. I don’t think it was a whole lot of money. We were really wanting to get married, however, he wanted to make the last payment on his car before we got married. So we planned it that he made the last payment on the car, and I paid for the wedding license. We were married on February 11, 1950.”


Mesmerizing 1960’s Halloweens with Marie and Shorty on 165th Street in Hammond

2014-11-01 Halloween windy day

Marie was an intriguing lady. She was extremely thin with straight white shoulder length hair and long finger nails. As a child, I always thought she resembled a witch, but she was an extremely nice woman. Shorty was a short, gray haired, old man who always had quite an unpleasant smell of alcohol on his breath and would always be seen in the neighborhood scavenging for treasures to add to his piles in his backyard.

There was a spell about their house at Halloween time that would draw neighborhood children to them. They would recruit us to help set up their Halloween display. We would get to go in the backroom of their house where they stored frightening creatures and help carry them out to their fenced in front yard. They were technically savvy for the late 1960’s to have some of these creatures electrified to shake and light up.  They also had eerie music playing over the front yard.

Halloween night our block would have a mass turnout of approximately 500 trick-or-treaters coming to see this scary display, and Marie would let the neighborhood kids help tend to the crowd. It was an honor to be on her porch watching the trick-or-treaters who were mesmerized of the scary creatures. When the night was over, I would always walk home delighted for the fascinating evening spent at a haunted house!

Halloween…Marie and Shorty…best memories ever! If only I had a picture of their display! Now is the time for you to be Keeping Your Memories of how you celebrated Halloween as a child. Grab your pencil and paper or your laptop and start answering the following questions:

  • What was Halloween like for you growing up?
  • Did you play tricks on people?
  • What costumes do you remember wearing?
  • What kids did you go trick-or treating with?
  • What Halloween candy did you always hope to get?