#Who's Who of B and B

How I met your Father

July 12, 2017

Six years ago I tried yet again to gather stories from my mother.  We could easily talk on the phone for a minimum of an hour, and I found myself wishing her memories or stories were recorded.  Each week I gave her a choice of two writing prompts to answer.  The ones I received are a treasure as are her letters over the years - such detail about her everyday happenings.  Betty is in her 94th year - without an ache or pain in her body.  She is of sound mind and enjoying peace and rest from all her labors.  From her breakfast nook window, birds are her feathered friends, and phone calls and cards keep her connected to family.

My mother has married and buried 3 husbands.  WWII claimed one of them . . . this is the story of her second, my father Manson Harvey Bailey, Jr.

Newly married Manson and Betty Bailey

Fall of 1944 . . . "The most important date of my life."  OR "I could have danced the night away."

I went up to Glasgow (MT) to visit the Rushtons.  While there my friend Barbara and her boyfriend Gale asked Manson and me to double date with them and go dancing.  I had met Manson for the first time roller skating on another trip to visit family in Glasgow.  He was a brother to my sister-in-law, so it wasn't a blind date, and I agreed to go.  I was really nervous though.  I never felt I was a really good dancer, as my friends were.  I enjoyed dancing, but never learned to "jitter bug" - I felt I was too tall or something. 

Our first dance was 18 miles out at Fort Peck at the Buckhorn Bar.  I worried all the way out there, "What if Manson was such a good dancer and even Jitter Bugged.  Would I be able to keep up with him?"  Well, I didn't need to worry because he wasn't a fancy dancer - just a plain ol' cowboy that "pumped" his right shoulder to the beat of the music which made it easy to follow.

We then danced at the Gateway Inn (#2) and the Ft. Peck recreational center (#3).  Gale knew there was a dance at the Glasgow Civic Center (#4), so back into Glasgow we went!  We didn't spend too much time there as we decided to go to the Tampico School House and see how the dancing crowd was doing there and to check out the music.  All these places had LIVE music!  As we walked through the door of the school house, the little band had just played their last tune.  Our 5th dance of the evening never got "danced' . . . but what an evening so far!

Counting the few times Manson and I spent writing letters while he was overseas as a 2nd date, we had our 3rd, 4th, and 5th dates when he spent 3 days in Great Falls (MT) after he was discharged from the Army in March of 1946.  At Easter time he proposed, "Do you think you could be happy with an ol' cowboy like me?"  "Of course!!"

My father has been gone 17 years this month.  He adored my mother for 54 years . . . and counting.

Do you know how your parents met?  Do your children know?  #Write about how your parents met. Was it love at first sight?

Thanks for listening,


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