Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dark, Curly Hair

Grandma Durham told me many stories yesterday, but there’s only one I'm allowed to share.

She typically tries to avoid the topic of dating (not really), but she insisted I sit with her on the porch swing as she gave me advice. I was told many things, one of them was to take up golf because I can meet a lot of people that way. I'm hesitant to take dating advice from someone who hasn't dated since she was a child.

And then she asked me what kind of boys I like. I told her I’m first and foremost drawn to intelligence and good conversationalists, but then I told her I tend to like curly hair for some reason.

“Oh,” she began, “I love dark curly hair. Can I tell you a story that is true?”

How I wish I had my digital voice recorder at this point. I will now paraphrase to the best of my memory (my interjections are in red).

When I was a young girl in high school, I was looking through my yearbook before school started and I saw a picture of this boy with dark, curly hair and I decided I was going to find him and meet him.

What was his name?

Lynn Sorensen. Oh, he was so good looking. Isn’t that silly? I was in love with a boy I haven’t even met.

Juvenile, but not silly.

Anyway, so school started, and I found him. We started to date.

Wow. That was easy.

I was very beautiful. So we went out and we went dancing every weekend.

Where did you go dancing?

The Old Mill. They had an orchestra and you would dance inside or outside under the stars. Oh it was wonderful. And I had this electric blue velvet dress that my mother bought me.

Oooh…where’s the dress?

Oh, I don’t know. I think my nieces probably stole it. (And then she went off on a tangent about how her nieces stayed at her house and yada yada yada).

Anyway, back to my story. One day Lynn Sorensen came up to me and asked me if I would go steady – do you know what that means?

(quick, get on with the story nod)

and I was thrilled. “Of course I’ll go steady!” I said, after all I was in love with him. But then one day,

Wait…how long did you “go steady”?

A week and a half. He came up to me and said, “My mother told me I can’t go steady with you anymore.


Oh, it gets even better. I was heartbroken.

Wait, so did you still go out on dates, but just not “steady”?

No. And then, in my yearbook, he wrote something about me putting too high a priority on fashion and clothes.

(Exasperated gasp from me)

Can you believe it? I was devastated. He went away to the University of Chicago and for weeks in the summer I cried and cried and my mother tried to console me.

Anyway, the next year I went up to the U.

One day, as I was walking up past the Park Building my husband (she meant, her husband to be) came walking down and said, “Now, didn’t I meet you at a dance the other night? I’ll tell you something. I’m going on a mission. I have 17 girls waiting for me, but if all of them decide not to wait for me I will marry you when I get back.”

Wow, Grandpa.

So he went on his mission and I had many boys ask me to marry them.

(Half look of shock that she would say that/half look of disbelief from me)

I was very beautiful. But I wasn’t in love with any of them. There was this one man who was kind of short who said, “Are you in love with that musician?” (referring to my Grandpa), “because you will never have any money.”

Anyway. Lynn Sorensen became a General Authority. One day, about 60 or 70 years after I last saw him, he called me on the phone and said, “Is this Betty Divers Durham?” and I said, “Yes, it is.” And he said, “This is Lynn Sorensen, I don’t know if you remember me. But I was in the temple earlier this week and a thought occurred to me that I should call and tell you how sorry I am that I left that mean note in your yearbook.”

And then I just laughed and said, “Oh. You poor man.”

End of story.

I really, really wish I had her yearbook so I could see what his picture looked like in there, but instead I have this picture of who I think is Elder Sorensen in his later years (thanks Google).

Of course, she ended up marrying my Grandpa. Who also happened to have -- you guessed it -- dark curly hair.

Here's a picture of Grandpa being a musician, without any money.


Kelly D. said...

LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!! I think my favorite part was how she said, "Oh, you poor man." Fabulous!

And the pictures are great, too! Grandma Durham was, indeed, a beautiful young lady. And I can see glimmers of both Tom and Carter in that one of LD (without any money).

SRA said...

I love the "I was very beautiful" and how it was said more than once. And the thing in temple with Elder Sorensen...oh heck.

Kristi said...

Thanks for sharing. I loved this story.

Nasher said...

Very funny story. Your family continues to be a source of great enjoyment to me.

Ilene said...

That is hilarious that Sorensen called her up.

While I am glad she married your poor, musician grandfather, it would be hilarious to see Grandma Durham as a GA's wife. Could you see her telling her stories at big regional conferences? That would be awesome.

Lisa Marie Trent said...

Grandma Durham- speaking at Regional Conferences.

Now THAT is a thought.

Liz said...

What a great story. I love that she kept telling you how beautiful she was! Only grandma Durham, ha!

Anonymous said...

I think it was my dark curly hair that caught your mother's eye. Then I kind of grew out of it.

Lisa Marie Trent said...

hahaha, Dad.

Sharp's Flat said...

oh my Betty!!!! and Tom????? really????? I'm trying to remember what Becky liked about you and I'm thinking she never really said, but I LOVED the PeeWee Herman high-heeled, two-toned shoes. I fell in love with you when I saw those shoes!!!

acrspeech said...

I'm so glad someone is recording these wonderful Grandma Durham stories. I loved it Laur! Where did you get that great picture of Grandpa? I love it! Thanks for the memories....oh, I also love your foods of Durhams past. Frosted graham crackers, yummy indeed! My Mom stuck with the cottage cheese when it came to pears :) Love you Laur!

Adney & Cindy said...

Love this story!