Monday, May 5, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 18: Finding Friends - Norma Rasmussen

Recently, I received some of my grandmothers things - including a personal history she wrote about her life, pictures and letters from WWII.   These are priceless and I have been looking through everything and slowly updating both and  .

One of the best parts getting this information was tracking down Melissa.    Using clues on the pictures and in the story - I tracked down Melissa's daughter and was able to share the stories and pictures with her.   Melissa was my grandmothers best friend.  

Melissa and Norma
Melissa and my grandmother shared a wedding....... and a lamb..........

In 1940, my grandmother, Norma Shepherd was dating Fred Rasmussen.    He took her to Lagoon - a local amusement park in Utah which still exists today.   Part of the group included Fred's cousin, Cecil.    There were things in the ground that sent out a puff of air and made the girls skirts fly up.     Norma was wearing a very full skirt and got caught by one of these things and her skirt flew up over her head.   Cecil made a comment about "the cute pink panties".    Norma was embarrassed and everyone laughed.

Norma was working in Salt Lake City and staying with Melissa.   A few days later who shows up on their doorstep?  Cecil!  Norma agreed to go out on a date, only if Cecil could find a date for Melissa.   He did and they went out and had a great time.    Dancing the night away, staying up all night, driving to Helper and a street dance the next day.

"Hello Honey
Remember me?  
I'm the guy that had you out all night way back in 1940 on July the Fourth. Are you and Melissa the talk of the town or is everything alright?
Did Fred have anything to say or don't you know?
I hope you don't know because I don't want you to go out with him."
The next time Cecil showed up - he brought along one of his friends, a sheep herder named Faye.    Melissa and Faye hit it off.   This w
as in July 1940.   They couples continued to date all through July and August.   Going dancing, fishing, camping, swimming.

 On August 23, 1940 the group went on a drive to Monte Cristo, near where Faye's camp was.    The car stopped and would not start again, and it started raining.  Faye talked them into going over the hill (my grandmother said the "hill" was several hills and 10 miles), to his camp for some lamb stew.   He killed one of the lambs, made stew and ate.    Later they hiked back to the car - taking a remaining leg of lamb with them.   They were able to get the car started and started heading home.

Faye and Melissa started talking about getting married and wanted to stop and get a wedding license on the way home.     Norma and Cecil decided to go ahead and get married too!   They stopped at Norma's house and dropped off the leg of lamb then headed to Melissa's house and dropped off the girls.   The next day - Faye and Cecil picked up Norma and Melissa, and at Cecil's insistence headed off to find Norma's father to tell him of the plan.

They found him at his job, Norma introduced them and Cecil told him they were getting married the next day.   Norma's parents wanted her to wait a few days until after pay day - but Melissa and Faye did not want to wait - so they all headed off to the courthouse.   Norma was wearing her 9th grade graduation class, and Cecil had a suit with a shirt that had a frayed collar.   After the ceremony, everybody went to Norma's house and ate the leg of lamb!!!!  

They newly married couple spent their wedding night in the basement of Cecil's sisters house.   Cecil left the next day to return to work on the Railroad.   Within a few weeks, he had a place for them to live and Norma joined him.

Norma and Cecil
Faye and Cecil

My grandparents were married for over 50 years.   My grandfather died in 1999 and my grandmother died in 2012.

Personal History, written by Norma (Shepherd) Rasmussen

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