A Swede + A Norwegian = Me

 Today would have been the 66th anniversary of the marriage of my parents. My mother was 22 years old and my father was 33. My Dad, Mel, might have married earlier as he told me he had a girlfriend in his 20's  but life intervened, as it often does. Dad enlisted in the Army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and President Franklin Roosevelts declaration of war. His girlfriend? Well, Melvin was in France, part of the great Normandy invasion, marching across Europe towards their final destination Berlin and the girlfriend was home all alone. She found another. Home from the war in 1946 Dad spent the next year getting re-established, looking for a job, catching up with family and friends.

My Mom, Grace, was a quiet, sheltered, "Daddy's girl". The only daughter, she was adored and very close to her "Pa", my grandfather Paul. Sunday nights they would  attend various Sunday evening services together, possibly stopping for a bite on the way to a particular church. As much as Pa loved their closeness and outings together, Grace was now twenty and he worried she should find a nice Christian husband. She, however, was shy and seemed content to be at Pa's side.

Sitting in a predominantly Swedish church one Sunday night he asked her, "What kind of man would you like to meet? Do you ever see a type that interests you?" Perhaps she had already been looking because to Pa's surprise she immediately pointed toward the church choir. "See that one, not so tall, smiling, with the very blue eyes and blond hair? I wish I had a boyfriend like that."

Pa hatched a plan. The next few Sunday evenings they attended the same church. Before services one evening he pointed out another young lady attending. "Grace, do you see that girl there? That is the sister of the blond fellow in the choir. She comes with her brother on the streetcar to church every Sunday. When she goes to the ladies room, you follow her. Start a conversation with her, ask her where she lives and offer her a ride home because you and your father are going that way. She, of course, will say she is with her brother. You then, very off-hand say, that's okay we have room for him also."

Melvin Carl Kallman and Grace Gunhild Sevald married in the Philadelphia Church 
on 5437 N. Clark street in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 1949

The maid of honor on Grace's right? Of course it is my Aunt Ebba, the sister who needed a ride.

Happy Anniversary October 1, 1949!

- Ranae

**clicking on photos will enlarge them for easier viewing**