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Theirs Was a Love Story

Summer Lovin'

Summer Lovin’- Bebe and Bobby, circa 1963, Devil’s Lake, Michigan

Growing up with Bobby (Bob) and Bebe (Betty), we witnessed affection, heard loving words exchanged, learned tooshie pinching techniques we would then test out on our grandparents much to their utter surprise and shock. Of course the reactions we witnessed made us want to pinch tooshies, all the more…well, I guess I can only speak for myself, but anyway…

Bobby and Bebe, theirs was a love story

…and it started on a warm night at a lakeside dance hall in the summer of 1963. They had each just graduated from high school and were enjoying the days of summer. Bobby would drive up from Toledo to Michigan with friends to visit family cabins on lakes, spending the hot days boating and water-skiing. Bebe lived in Michigan and had been very involved in her high school and local community in several clubs and organizations, including jazz and tap dance. Having taken dance lessons most of her young adult years, Bebe jumped at any opportunity to tear up the floor.

One evening, Bebe and a “friend” of hers headed to the Manitou Beach dance hall on Devil’s Lake.

That same evening, Bobby and his friends showed up at the dance hall. Bob saw Betty and told me, in his own words, “I was going to dance with her the rest of the night!” He recognized Betty’s date, knew him casually through friends, so Bob walked up to the guy and asked him to make an introduction. The guy brushed Bobby off and invited Betty out onto the dance floor.

Well, it wasn’t too long until Bob decided to playfully “cut in” on Betty and her date, for what he said was, “Just this once…” In Bobby’s words, “The moment your Mom and I met, we were connected…and we never lost that connection…”

It would be polite to tell you that our Dad kept his word and only cut in once on Betty and her date that summer night in 1963…but then I’m not so sure I’d be alive all these years later, writing this story

The truth of the story is, when Betty’s date attempted to cut back in, my Dad gave a playful, but firm, “Beat it!” and the guy bowed out.

(*It would be good to let you know, if you are nostalgic at all about your childhood from the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, or nostalgic about the fact your parents grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, I created an EPIC play list over on my Spotify account called, “Growing Up With Bobby and Bebe.” It includes tons of their favorites, as well as ones we recall from hearing them played around the house or on road trips. Check it out!)

Let me paint the picture for you…they were 17 years old, fresh out of high school, our Dad on his way to Xavier University to study business and Betty had chosen Miami University of Ohio over the University of Michigan where she went to pursue a study in Fine Art.

They head spent most of the summer together up at Devil’s Lake, getting tan and falling in love, but the distance between their universities meant a letter or phone call here and there, but eventually losing touch. Gradually they both got into the groove of their studies and schools, but after their first year, both of them transferred to the University of Toledo to be closer to home, unbeknownst to the other.

My mom decided to take part in the sorority rush at TU in order to meet people, but never went active. The president of the Chi Omega sorority at TU was a girl with my dad’s same last name. Betty asked if she was related to Bob and the girl said it was her brother, in a sort of big sister, protective sort of way. Apparently my mom mentioned they had met at the lake the previous summer and somehow through this encounter, the two were reconnected.

One Year Anniversary

One Year Anniversary

Yep, Bobby’s and Bebe’s was a love story. This is only the beginning and there’s more I’ll chronicle here, but one thing I love is how they found each other back on the campus of TU, after a year apart, without knowing the other was also transferring. Looking back over 50+ years of dating and marriage, and their death’s so close to the other, it’s fair to say my dad was right when he said, “The moment your Mom and I met, we were connected…and we never lost that connection…”

 

Comments

  1. Heidi Jo says:

    eyes welling… beautiful…

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