The following was written by my late wife Elaine. She wrote a long book, a diary really, from which this is one passage:
Our wedding was Saturday, January 2, 1954, at 8:00 pm. Late weddings were common then. (Dave says “the Baptists didn’t want to give us too many hours to do sinful things on our first night.”) ha!
We have 12 black & white pictures of the wedding in a large white album, and many colored slides, including one picture of us looking out the back window of the maroon and gray DeSoto as we left for a short honeymoon.
Our real honeymoon would be on hold until summer, 1954, with plans to go then to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On the night of our wedding, we stayed downtown in Detroit at the Statler Hotel, a sort of “sentimental journey” because my parents had spent their wedding night in the very same hotel.
Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State College, Oldsmobile Division of GM, and Belated Honeymoon
On Sunday, January 3, 1954, we drove to Lansing. Dave registered on January 4, and soon started his first semester of college at Michigan State (College, then; University, now). It started out as an agricultural college, and it was referred to for a long time as the “cow college.” The word “University” later added some well-earned prestige to the campus.
Sunday or Monday we found an off-campus apartment, our home for the next three and a half years; it was the upstairs of an old house, entered by outside stairs at the back.
Mr. and Mrs. Fred F., an interesting and cultivated elderly couple, were our landlords. Their only rule was that we take our shoes off so they couldn’t hear us walking around above them. Dave tends to pace when he’s concentrating hard, such as when working on difficult engineering homework, and this probably happened a few times before we were given the rule.
Whenever they were gone for a few days they always told me I could go downstairs (using an inside stairway from our little hall) and play her piano. It was a generous opportunity for me and I enjoyed it often. We paid $50 a month, and all furniture and utilities were included in the rent. It was a good situation for all of us, and we liked each other and had things in common.
Mr. and Mrs. Freeman sometimes invited Dave and I to their church, and we always hoped that the choir’s professional tenor soloist would be singing on days we attended. They invited us downstairs to dinner sometimes, and once she invited me to a Mother-Daughter Banquet at her church. These Lansing years were rich with a large circle of close friends, the family circle had not yet been broken, and we were young and optimistic about having a good future.
My interesting new job, which I landed within a few days of settling into our apartment, was at the Oldsmobile Plant, Division of GM, the largest employer in Lansing, and I was hired as Secretary to Mr. Sessions who was in charge of the tech students who were going to college and working part-time at Oldsmobile, all real good guys about my age.
To be continued…
About the Author: RD Blakeslee is a nonagenarian in West Virginia who built his net worth by only investing in that which can be enjoyed during acquisition and throughout life, as opposed to papers in a drawer, like stocks and bonds. You can read more about him here.
Photos: Courtesy of the Blakeslee Family