To the three R’s—reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic—I’d add a fourth: romance.
It was February 1948, my senior year at Tuley High School in Chicago. For U.S. History, Ray was assigned to Miss Deiner. To balance the number of students, a few of us were transferred into her class. Ray was feeling mighty bummed out, as only a 16-year-old could, that none of his buddies were in the same class with him. But when he saw “that little blonde” in the new group, he perked up.
Miss Deiner seated her students alphabetically, and since both of our names began with M, I was placed directly in front of Ray. Our first date was in April at the Belpark Theater. We saw Call Northside 777.
After graduation—and many more movies and chocolate malts—we decided to get married. Three months later, with the Korean War brewing, Uncle Sam pointed at Ray and said, “I Want You,” and my new husband began his military service in the Marine Corps. Leaving Chicago by train from Dearborn Station in early December 1950, with the first snowflakes falling, and arriving two days later in San Diego for boot camp, was a shock.
For the past 60 years we have thought many times of our school days in Chicago and wished we could thank Miss Deiner for her classroom seating plan. We recall her smiling benevolently at us as the semester wore on. She was aware that love was in bloom.
It will be 59 years this September since two kids from Chicago made their own history by saying, “I do.”
Rose Marie Majewski-Malmstrom is a reader from Willits, Calif.