And just what were you doing in the woods with that boy?

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When my maternal great-grandmother Ruth was working as a schoolteacher in Virginia, female schoolteachers were not allowed to be married. Ruth enjoyed teaching school, but she had also entered a secret engagement with Kit Carson (not the famous historical figure). One late August evening, she told her mother that she was going to the corner to get a Coke. When she returned home, she had a ring on her finger. She and Kit had met the minister in the woods behind the church and had been married by flashlight. She had to take the ring off her finger in order to teach the next day. Ruth and Kit were married the entire year, but kept their relationship a secret. They caused a bit of a stir in town, as many people told her mother that she was, “spending an awful lot of time with that Kit boy.” –Irene Newman

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