Monday, December 29, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Watts - A Love Story

When Sue and I were first married we lived in Baltimore, Maryland just across the street on Clifton Avenue, from an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Watts. I don’t ever recall knowing their first names, as they each referred to one another as Mr. or Mrs. Watt in conversation. It was very quaint and unusual, just as they were.

This story concerns their courtship, and later on, marriage as it was relayed to me by them some 25 years ago. I believe I have the story remembered correctly.

The diminutive Mr. Watts, who was probably one of the shortest Marines ever admitted to the Corps, came home from the Second World War having survived the hand to hand combat that marked the Battle for Guadalcanal. He was a tough little guy, and still single at the age of 30. He took a job working for the railroad, first residing in Virginia, where his true love had originally been waiting out the war for him.

Mrs. Watts, I never did know her maiden name, was a nurse, and during the war had taken a job working up in Indianapolis. The photo above is of Union Station in Indianapolis, as it appeared in 1946. The two corresponded throughout the war and were anxious to see one another again. To that end, Mr. Watts secured a ticket for the trip to Union Station, where his love would be waiting. He had a mission on his mind, and love in his heart.

Mrs. Watts was busy on her end as well, making plans for the upcoming visit. She had been rooming at the YWCA, which of course did not permit men, so she sought out a hotel room. They had never “been together” before; those were her actual words to me; but somehow she felt that having a hotel room ready would not be a bad idea. To that end, she secured the Bridal Suite at the best hotel in town for the whopping price of $7 a night.

Mr. Watts arrived in Indianapolis by train, with the soon to be Mrs. Watts waiting for him at the station. They had dinner, a noontime meal, at the “best diner in town”, during which they began to discuss the events of the past few years and where they might be heading as a couple. That’s when he popped the question. I will let Mr. Watts take over from here and tell you about it. To do otherwise would only serve to diminish the story.

“I looked at Mrs. Watts and I said, ‘Look here Mrs. Watts’, only I didn’t call her Mrs. Watts yet, on account of we weren’t married. So I said, ‘Look here Mrs. Watts, you ain’t getting any younger and I ain’t getting any better lookin’, so what do you say we up and get hitched?’ Well sir, she about jumped right into my lap! And do you know she had a hotel room all set, kind of like she knew what I was going to ask before I even asked it.”

Well, Mr. and Mrs. Watts lived happily ever after, racking up at least 5 decades of marriage that I know of. I have always wondered if, when they said goodnight to one another, they called one other Mr. and Mrs. Watts. They moved away a few years after Sue and I married, and I am sure that they have both since passed on. No matter, wherever they are today, I know that they are still together. True love never dies.

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