How My Parents Met

February 21, 1953 on 10:07 am | In Beryl, Bill Manvell, My Grandparents | Comments Off on How My Parents Met

My mother sent me an email with this story of meeting my father for the first time.

How I met your Daddy: When Pop Pop was stationed at the Navy annex in Arlington, we lived in South Arlington and I became friends with 2 sisters, Yvonne and Saphronia Sparks, that lived next door to us and went to W & L and the same Baptist church.

Grandma Bobbie sent me back to live with Grandma J. in Malden , Mass., as we three didn’t get along at all. I was all church and temperance involved and they were all for drinking and having fun. I was very friendly with my minister and wife in Revere, MA, and they had a daughter Gracia, (much older in a seminary studying to be a minister) that took me under their wings.

Gracia and her boyfriend, Bob (also in the seminary), arranged a blind date for me with a fellow student and friend. We double dated all year and we became engaged. I moved back to Virginia to graduate earlier – I was lacking 0ne credit to graduate, so went to summer school to graduate in February 1950 – so I could get married and become a minister’s wife.

Absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder. I went back to Mass. to marry him, but we broke up instead. Grandma J. could not afford to take care of me, and Pop Pop paid her and gave me four weeks to find a job so I could stay. I had a promised job with the phone company, but they couldn’t start me for another week past the four, so Grandma Bobbie came up and took me back to Virginia.

Picked up my friends I had made at the church when living there before in Arlington, even though we now lived in Alexandria. Yvonne and her husband, Chuck Goodson (Daddy’s drummer), took me to Hunters Lodge, a dance hall on Lee Hwy in Fairfax one Sat. night to introduce me to the “the band leader,” Billy Manvell, with the thought of arranging a blind date later. Wow, was I impressed –  “The band leader!”


Daddy proposed on our second date. I said, “No.”

We were both so unhappy living with parents that a couple of months later we were married, June 23, 1951.

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