How Mom And Dad Met (Writer’s Workshop)

Me with Mom and Dad, circa 1961 (photo: Fabulous Auntie Jill)

This week, Kat wants to know “How [my] parents met.” It’s actually a pretty interesting story, at least the way Mom told it to me. Or at least the way I remember she told me.

Some time in the late 1940’s, when they were in high school, Bunny (that’s Mom) went on a blind date with Bill (that’s Dad). At the end of the evening, Bill asked Bunny, “Hey, can I have your phone number?” and she told him, “It’s in the phone book.” She never heard from him again.

Fast forward maybe four years. Bunny’s in college, and is “lavaliered” (kind of like engaged to be engaged) to Pat. One night, they were together, and he kept complaining of a sore back, and no amount of her massaging it made it feel any better. He woke up the next morning unable to move. He had contracted a severe case of polio that left him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. He and Bunny were supposed to go to a dance that weekend, and Pat asked his best friend, who just happened to be Bill, if he’d take her.

Bill calls Bunny, whose first question is, “Why didn’t you ever call me?” He said, “I couldn’t find it in the book.” Mom’s maiden name (and my middle name) is Connelly, which can also be spelled Connolly, Connally, Conley, and a bunch of other ways. He never figured out the right spelling.

I knew Pat, by the way: he was the assistant principal at St. Ignatius College Prep, where I went to high school my freshman year. He married someone else and they had a bunch of kids. He and his wife and Mom and Dad remained friends.

Just as a side note: yesterday would have been Dad’s 85th birthday.