When I First Saw Your Face

The prompt – describe how my grandparents/parents met.

My maternal grandparents (Jim and Val) allegedly met at a radio station in Butler County. She was working as a receptionist or clerk or something and he was a salesman. I think they eloped soon after and he ended up working in the mill in Homestead (but I’m not sure if he was a laborer or had a desk job.) My mother admitted to me that my grandmother wanted to escape her father who was a SOB. Ironically, he ended up living with her in his dotage and died at the age of 97. He was still mean and his diabetes restricted our snack options to sugar free spearmint candy and Pepsi Free. Uggghhhh.

My paternal grandparents have a shroud of mystery related to the fact that he was a cad who seduced a high school girl, got her pregnant and my grandmother’s parents hated him. My grandmother told me one time that they met because he was buddies with her girl friend’s older brothers. But she fudged the time frame. It is actually a very sad reflection on the life women led that she spent her whole life protecting those original lies. Lies that today seem so banal. It has taken me years to piece together the story, something I first picked up on at a young age when I overheard grown-up talk. This is why I believe adults should be honest with children rather than let them fill in the gaps with their own imagination.

My parents have a sweet story – they met at the South Park Roller Skating Rink. It was ladies choice and my mother chose my father – they were both just out of high school. He was working in the mill and she was attending Point Park Junior College to learn a trade. Do you know that they both still have their roller skates? After all these years … there’s something very sweet about that. They’ve been married nearly 45 years.

Kerr wedding
Jim and Kerry Kerr June 7, 1969


I’m mulling over other “how they met” stories in my memory bank. My cousin Megan met her husband Billy in second grade, but didn’t date him until after high school. My cousin Tamara met her husband Shibu in college. My cousin Gregg met his wife JoAnn when she was a server at his parent’s restaurant. Most of my other cousins met there spouses in school.

I’m sure that I’ve shared how I met Ledcat. Now that’s a story! It has a locale, memes, even cats.


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