Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Twenty six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is awaiting for me
Santa Catalina, the island of ROMANCE,

Craver, did you do this to us? This song from before your time is running through my head worse than any other in a long time.

Yes, Craver gave us the theme of Romance for this week, and here we go seeking romance. Wonder what he had in mind--hmmm--check out his blog and the others which you will find in my sidebar to see. You will get the male version. They will have their headers and posts ready by Wednesday afternoon.

So, here, for the distaff view of romance.

I just checked on MapQuest, and it was not twenty six miles across the sea, but more like fifty across the land.

This lovely lady lived in Riverside, where she attended Riverside Junior College, edited the college yearbook, wrote college and social news for the local paper, and helped her mother run a huge boarding house.

This adventurous young red head lived in San Gabriel. He had graduated from the University of California at Davis, having studied agriculture, and returned to help his dad manage their orange grove.
Continuing his agricultural studies, he spent one or more semesters at the Irrigated Agriculture Experiment Station in Riverside. Guess where he lived when he was there.
Jane liked to say that since she was the one that brought the food to the table, Howard thought he was falling in love with the cook.
His studies over, Howard returned to his smudge pots. When he could, he made weekend visits to
Riverside. Well, it wasn't Riverside itself that was the attraction.

But since it was depression time, stamps were cheaper.

On a shelf that I can't right now reach I have a box. It contains two years worth of letters from Jane to Howard. And one or two letters from Howard to Jane.

I always thought it so very romantic of my Dad (of course, you knew this was my mother and dad, didn't you?) that he saved every letter my mother sent--sometimes two or three a week. And wondered why she didn't save his like that. I just realized that I have another box on another shelf containing all the letters I sent my sweetie when I was a student for a year in Italy, and maybe one or two from him. It wasn't that I didn't save them. He didn't send any. Was my dad that way, too?

Ah, well, romance, romance, romance, ROMANCE!!!!


A job!

My dad was offered a job managing a ranch in the California desert. I don't think I ever wondered what was growing out there at that time--except rattlesnakes. It was early in irrigated agriculture.

A job! A job meant that they could get married. Quick, before Lent starts as there were no weddings during Lent.

And the living room of that big boarding house was the setting for the nuptials.

Romance, romance, romance, ROMANCE!!!

The job at the ranch included the house, and every month or so the owner would come for the weekend and the folks could take a break, get away from the ranch, come back fresh after a few days.

Then after a while the owner started leaving his laundry--maybe some other chores for my mom to do between their visits.

It didn't take long. Dad informed the boss that he had not hired his wife as a laundress, it was not part of the bargain.  And then he quit.

I told you he was bold and adventurous.

And romantic.

Dad passed away of Parkinson's and cancer in late 1994. Mother followed twelve weeks later succumbing to her own cancer. I truly believe that they each kept going those last few years for the sake of the other.

One of my nephews spoke of going to work that January afternoon that Mother died. The sky was stormy over the Pacific, but suddenly the sun broke through the clouds displaying a beaming pathway to heaven. When he learned that she had passed right about that time, he said he just knew it was Jane on her way to join Howard in time to celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary together.

When I posted, I did not know that this would be the week that Christine joined our Headbanger family. So I am no longer the only representative of the female side of things. Welcome, Christine.


imac said...

A very Romantic header and pics with story Kathy, most enjoyable to see and read.

Lew said...

Beautiful tribute to your Mom and Dad! And how nice to have all of those photos and letters from their early years. (Maybe Mac can find a love song about 50 miles across the desert.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

What a great story Kathy, so wonderful to here the story of your parents. Very romantic for certain.

Craver Vii said...

The old photographs are touching, and I really like that you shared the back story. Lovely!

Jackie said...

A beautifully romantic post...
Made me cry.
But...good tears.

Liz said...

Romance and true love. Wonderful story.