I love finding the old newspaper clippings that relate to the family as I search through Ancestry. I know the flowers each of my grandmothers had in her wedding bouquet, I know which of my Granny Scanlon’s friends threw her engagement party, I know that my great-grandfather was an esteemed citizen mourned by the town when he died.
But there is one line in my maternal grandparent’s wedding announcement – Regina Leader-Post, July 2, 1945 – that catches my attention.
“The bridal couple left on a trip to Banff, the bride wearing a smart model suit and hat. They will be going to Ontario, where they will reside for a few weeks, the groom then rejoining his ship for service in the Pacific arena.”
Now, it is highly likely that my Tutu was, in fact, wearing a smart suit. She was generally impeccably dressed and well put together – my opposite in that way, thought my kid seems to have taken up the mantle.
The second part of the paragraph, however, never came to be.
My grandfather was in the navy during the Second World War, and after VE-Day he came home to get married, and then re-upped. He was supposed to sail to the Pacific and fight Japan before they dropped the bombs. But then they did and he didn’t.
He told me that once, that he was planning to go. There is every chance he could have died there. Instead, he and my Tutu were in Cooperstown, NY with his parents when the war was declared over. He was in uniform and he said that people were treated him as though he’d won the war himself. For a newly married couple there must have been a significant amount of relief.
It is a situation I am glad to be able to look at from the future, not having experienced the present of it.