June 15, 1949 was the date of my parents' marriage; Mother was three weeks shy of 18, and Dad was 21. Their love started in an era where times were simpler and vows seemed to mean more than they do today. Let me start at the beginning.
My parents met when my mother was probably about six years old. They lived in Bamberg County, South Carolina in a "hole-in-the-road" known as Little Swamp Community, not too far from Lodge and Smoaks. My father's daddy worked for the railroad and was often away from home. Dad was one of four boys that his mother basically reared by herself for much of his childhood. His daddy was killed in a car accident in 1946.
Mother lived "across the branch," as they called the woods, with her parents and four siblings. Her daddy was a poor farmer who grew cotton, among other things. She and my father attended the same one room school house and church. In those days, country folk in that area had socials that centered around cane grinding and peanut boiling. It was at one of those peanut boilings when she was probably about 15 that she announced to some of her cousins that she was going to "marry that boy one day." And that is what she did.
Fast forward to June of 1949. My grandfather drove Mother to Bamberg to buy her a new dress in which to get married. One day shortly after, she came in from the field, kicked off those shoes, and said, "I'm done with you, old shoes!" On the 15th, her eldest brother drove them to the parsonage in Smoaks and waited in the truck while they went in and got married. The next day they took a bus to Columbia and the following day continued on to Clemson where they were to live while Dad attended the University and tried to support them.