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If You Love Me, You’ll Resecue Me From Hawaii

Back in the early 50’s, my grandma was a young divorcee with an 8 year old daughter by her first marriage, and my granddaddy was a young widower. When they met, my grandma had taken a bookkeeping class at a local college and her teacher recommended her to my granddaddy, who had recently returned home from the war and started a furniture business. He hired her and they soon began dating after meeting at work. However, Burlington was a pretty small town at the time, and in a year or two my grandma heard a rumor that even though he was supposedly dating my grandma exclusively, he was dating local schoolteacher on the weekends. She found the rumor, and without even saying anything to my granddaddy, she packed up to leave town. She had a sister who had moved out to Hawaii several years before, so she packed up her whole home and life, and had all her possessions shipped in crates to Hawaii. She and my aunt flew out the following day. My granddaddy figured out what had happened and managed to get hold of her when she was in St. Louis for a night with an uncle of hers. He told her he had broken up with the other woman and begged her to come back, but she refused. She told him, “if you love me that much, you’ll have to come all the way to Hawaii and get me!” So my grandma and her young daughter flew all the way to Hawaii. The day after their arrival, my granddaddy appeared on the doorstep of my grandma sister’s home (where she and my aunt were staying). He told her that he had been a complete idiot and proposed right there. They were married in a quaint little church in Hawaii two days later, and then turned right around back to North Carolina! In fact, they were married left Hawaii before the crates of all their possessions had even arrived there! My grandparents remained married the rest of their lives, and I really have never seen two people more in love, but I’ve also never really heard a story of a marriage so unique as this one! It’s also pretty scary to think how close they came to losing each other forever, but whenever my granddaddy told the story, he insisted that he would never have let that happen. And up until his death a few years ago, my grandma would never tell the story without jokingly reminding granddaddy how much he had goofed up when he tried double-crossing her! Mary Margaret Smith

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