Friday, April 6, 2012

How Mom and Dad Met

Virginia Ryan and Johnny Jones courting
Setting the Scene: World War II has ended, the "boys" are home, and there is a pent-up demand for finding a husband and starting a family.  My mother used to say that during her prime dating years, the only guys available were married or classified IV-F (men deemed physically, mentally or morally unfit to serve).

So how to find a husband -- Being a "good, Catholic girl" it seemed logical to try to meet men at the Newman Center.  The Newman Center was designed to serve the needs of Catholic students attending non-Catholic Universities. The University of Cincinnati had a vibrant chapter headed by Bob Kroner. Coincidentally, Bob grew up in the East End and was a friend of my father.

One of the popular activities of the time was to take a riverboat ride to Coney Island on the Island Queen.  The boat had a great ballroom and it only cost 25 cents to ride from Cincinnati to Coney, a few miles upriver.

Credit: The Island Queen, Cincinnati's Excursion Steamer, by John and Robert White

The U.C. Newman Club decided to sponsor a dance on the Island Queen. Bob Kroner was President of the Newman Club. He and Dad were great friends and neighbors and Dad tagged along with Bob on a regular basis. Never mind that Dad was neither a U.C. student nor Catholic. Given my family history, it seems only appropriate that my parents would meet on a boat, on the Ohio River, that literally passed by the Jones home on its way upriver to Coney.  Perfect!!!

Well, they must have made an impression on each other because within a couple of years they were married and well on their way to becoming parents of what would become a very large family. Serendipitous? Fate? You tell me.

1 comment:

  1. Totally appropriate that they would meet on a river boat!