My niece, Elly, is getting married tomorrow. One of her gifts will be her great grandmother's engagement ring. Grandma had given it to my mom, her daughter-in-law, and mom is giving it to Elly. It's a simple gift, but a symbol of an endearing romance between my grandparents, Leota Bradford and Walter Myers.
One lovely coincidence - Walter bought this ring and gave it to Leota on September 21, 1918. Elly and Bradie's wedding date is September 23, 2017; almost exactly 99 years later. I wanted them to have the story of their great grandparent's love affair, in addition to the ring.
From Walter's diary:
September 24, 1918
"Went to the movies tonight and had ice cream with Slim. Stayed up till one and had a real good time. Tried to sneak up to bed but were caught."
From a letter Leota wrote to her brother George, who was a soldier in France at the time:
Clyde Ohio September 26 - 1918
"You can see the dear little ring Walter got for me. Our little engagement ring. Oh it is so pretty. When you come home old Boy won't we have a grand time. You, Theresa, Walter, and I."
Two more entries from Walter's diary:
December 30, 1918
“With the first moment of midnight I planted a kiss on sweetheart’s lips. Each kiss was ½ minute duration with ½ minute intermission till 21 were collected, one for each year to celebrate her birthday.”
December 31, 1918
“We slept so hard last night that we didn’t wake up till late, then I went over and Leota and I had just the bestest little love talk, great going over the whole list of events that made up our romance.”
In September of 1918, Walter Myers was on furlough from the United States Navy, during World War I. He had bought a ring for Leota. Here's the entry from his diary:
September 21, 1918
"We hereby solemnly swear that between 10:30 pm and 1:00 am, we were awake and we performed a little ring ceremony to the best of our ability adn that we experienced the happiest time in our lives. God Bless Our Home. Walter Myers and Leota Bradford"
Leota was 20 years old and her father, Warren Bradford, thought she was too young to marry. Walter had not asked his permission, as he admitted in a long letter to Leota in October:
"Gee, I'm glad I didn't have to propose to you by mouth, for I remember how I felt when I tried it upstairs and I forgot what I was going to say. Ha ha. Well, I suppose I ought to have asked your father, but gee, I didn't have the nerve. Ha ha."
Congratulations to Elly and Brody! Wishing you many years of "bestest little love talks" on your journey together!