Mary E. Wilson Autobiography (14) – 1936-37

Mary E. Wilson

Mary E. Wilson


          Archie and I were quietly planning our marriage but it was difficult to deceive my mother.

Arthur, Doris, my mother, and myself were all home but Arthur was dating a pretty girl who worked as a waitress where my mother worked at the D. M. Read Company. My mother introduced them and they seemed to hit a it off perfectly.

October, 1937

          I will never forget that day in October, 1937. It was on a Saturday morning and I was not working. Archie came to the house, which was unusual, his divorce had finally become finalized and he was a free man.

I had just gotten out of a hot tub and I was as red as a lobster and he had bought me an engagement ring the same day he got his divorce. I was so happy but now I had to tell my mother.

How do you explain to your mother that you are suddenly engaged to be married? But I did tell her and her only comment was, “if he can’t get along with one woman, what makes you think he can make you happy?”

I was now 26 years old, very much in love and determined to marry Archie. We saw no reason to wait and planned our wedding for December 10, 1937, so we had a busy two months to plan our wedding.

Archie had saved money because now he was the manager of the Shell Station so he was able to completely furnish our lovely rent on Fifth Street in Bridgeport, and it was all paid for. We had a ball picking everything for apartment together.

I decided to have a traditional wedding, white dress, veil, the works. My mother seemed to be angry and even though she was a great seamstress, refused to take any active interest in my wedding.

My first disappointment was like could not be married in the Episcopal Church because Archie was a divorced man. I decided on the Methodist Episcopal Church on Stratford Avenue in Bridgeport and Fred’s dad asked if he could play the organ at our wedding. Alex was Archie’s best friend and Celso was my matron of honor. Jim gave me away and Arthur, David, Doris and Shirley were our attendance at our wedding.

My mother finally had a change of heart and planned the reception at our house, made me a wedding cake, and was great and gave us a nice wedding and reception.

We only had a weekend honeymoon so we went to the hotel, Commodore in New York City on the train. I never remember such a cold weekend. The weather was awful. I guess being newly married and very much in love, the weather was not important.


12 thoughts on “Mary E. Wilson Autobiography (14) – 1936-37

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    Mary sure was determined! While I do recall hearing that women were to be “conforming”, I can’t believe society would outcast her… and indeed, I see it hadn’t! Lovely post. :-)

  2. There’s much to admire in Mary – such a strong willed woman from another time!

  3. Mrs. P says:

    Though standards of acceptable behavior were quite different the, I find Mary’s mother to be quite overbearing and mean most of the time. I’m glad Mary followed her heart!

  4. weggieboy says:

    In a time when half of all couples are – as it quaintly used to be characterized…- “living in sin”, or divorced at least once, it is strange that marrying a divorced man would be an issue. Also, that churches might refuse to marry a divorced person seems a bit odd. Times definitely have changed.

  5. gpcox says:

    You can’t hide anything from Mom!

  6. I find Mary’s story endlessly fascinating, I guess because these are the major ups and downs of one ordinary life. Her life events are played out just the same today.

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