The Backstory: First dates, “and the rest is history”

My Backstory series offers stories about my upbringing and background. You can find the whole series under the category “Biography,” if you’re interested.

I wish I knew more about how my parents met.  This is all I got so far:

My mom lived & worked in Connellsville. My dad lived in the same town, though he worked in Clairton. She worked at a finance company and meanwhile worked at raising her two boys.  So they kinda knew each other; it was a small town and I think dad may have done some business with her office at one point.

Dad told me only a couple stories about his life as a man, beyond the Army stories or occasional mill story, or a caper involving him and his friend Ellsworth.  He told me that long before he had any kind of religious allegiance, he prayed and asked God to give him a red-headed wife someday.

My mom had gorgeous red hair, a true red, almost carrot colored but not quite.  She didn’t have the flock of freckles on her face that you’d expect; maybe as a kid but not as I remember her.  She also had a tiny waist, a petite 4’11” frame, and a love for swing coats and high heels. [My mom will remain better dressed than I, with much better fashion sense.]

Somehow, my dad met my mom and she invited him to church.  That’s about all I know.

He wasn’t particularly interested in “vacation Bible school” or church, though he found her description of the building’s wooden beams and ceiling rather intriguing. (She told him it looked like an upside-down ark on the inside, and it kinda did.)

Nope. He was interested in her.

Their first date was to see a double-feature: The Lady and the Tramp, followed by 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Presh.  And as they say, the rest was history.

Well, there was a wrinkle.

My mom was attending an independent Fundamental non-denominational church in town (yes, that’s a mouthful; yes, that’s a real denomination).  Actually, the string of adjectives read “independent Fundamental Bible-believing local church.”  It wasn’t Baptist, so “non-denominational.”    It’s a rare bird, actually — you’ll find plenty online about independent Fundamental Baptist churches (or IFB for short). Nosomuch the non-denominational or “Bible church” variety.  I digress.

Mum’s church was full of good people; I met most of them.  Dad felt rather welcome actually.  He discovered that he had a thirst for learning more about the Bible, so his mission of getting my mom to date him by attending church ended up making him a Christian.  He made a profession of faith shortly before he proposed to her.

And then all hell broke loose.  But it’s midnight and I’m tired, so I’ll pick up that thread next time.