Monday, March 28, 2011

An Elopement Tale!

Bob and Charlotte then
That tornado went through Jackson Tennessee sounding like a huge freight train. On the third floor of Lovelace Hall, one of the woman's dorms at Union University, we were rounded up and pushed to the ground floor. We couldn't hide in the basement it was unusable. That old dorm made it, and morning dawned bright and clear. There is no place like Tennessee after a storm. Our trees were not down and the grass was so green and the mud! Oh, my! The mud!

Friday is a good day on college campuses I think. I went to two schools and we all loved Friday. I was in my room after lunch, and the monitor called upstairs [no such a thing as an intercom system in 1952] that I had a gentleman caller. I grabbed a scarf and flew down the stairs because I did not want to keep him waiting.....there were too many pretty Baptist girls looking for a Preacher-boy.

We went to the movies and walked slowly back to campus. We had already taken our pennies, nickels, and dimes and purchased our wedding rings. Plans for a Christmas wedding had been cancelled, and now it was spring, and my name was still Younger.

After spending a couple of hours in the Library, where I could go without permission, we slipped out the back door and left campus [without permission; a big no-no] and made our way, half a block to Pat and Mike's! All college kids should know a Pat and Mike...they were the best. [And could they make Boston Cream Pie!]

As we walked in Mike said: "How long are you two going to wait?" I really don't know what Bobbie said...I just walked to our favorite booth. After a few minutes we had our Boston Cream Pie and an Orange Crush. Jerry Green joined us. After some joking around, Jerry said, "If you don't marry that gal, I am going to give her a try!" Now, I am sure Jerry was just joking, but on the way back to the dorm, Bob asked me if I would like to go to Mississippi and get married…TOMORROW!!!!! I think I jumped into his arms, and hang the rules, I kissed him. For once, I was speechless!

We agreed to meet at the cafeteria at breakfast and finalize plans. You see, it was past time to be in the dorm, and I was always late and pushing the line. I sure did not want trouble now.

I thought that morning would never come. No sleep for this little eighteen year old girl. I never gave a thought to the ramifications. We were throwing caution to the wind. We were getting M-a-r-r-i-e-d! Married! That's all I really wanted.

That night, another tornado made its way across northern Mississippi, uprooting trees and laying down fences.   Saturday dawned and I was ready!

We met at breakfast. Bob had the Greyhound schedule. I had standing permission to go to Memphis to see relatives. No problem there. I had to get my white suit cleaned and there was time. Where was that Navy blouse? Need a purse to look somewhat like it belongs....details, details, details. They were not a problem...I was running on excitement!

So we boarded the bus. Oh, that bus-ride! There were folks with cages containing live chickens and hoes and rakes, and groceries of all kinds with boxes of undetermined things. It was strange to Bob but, I was born in Tennessee and lived in Oakland when it was a little country town, used to ride the bus to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon. Of course I rode the train mostly...but it contained the same sort of things.

Keep in mind a bus ride through West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi in 1952 was not even remotely as it is now. We stopped at cross roads, at lanes, at driveways, and even just on the side of road to let folks off and on. In those days, one rode the bus to grocery shop or to the doctor or just to visit because there were not so many cars. The tornado had flattened barns and out buildings and the most incredible thing.....took the feathers off chickens. It was a funny ride, and I mean "ha-ha" funny. We laughed and simply enjoyed the trip.

As we drove into Corinth we passed a beautiful columned Southern Baptist Church, I suggested we get married there. There was a big hotel on the square and we checked in. The town was FULL of folks, all the stores doing booming business and the Court House was open for business (on a Saturday!). That was a good thing!

We walked up the steps to the Court House, and some old men, "The Spit and Whittle Club" simply looked up and pointed the way to the license office. I wondered how on earth they knew what we were there for. Corinth Mississippi was known as the "marriage capitol" of the south.

Bob got a taxi to take us to the church, at 2:00 P.M. after lunch at a little hole in the wall place on the square, and change of clothes we were on our way. Did not go to the pretty brick church we saw, instead we went to the parsonage of a smaller church in town, where the taxi driver went to church. Rev. Smith performed the ceremony, with no witnesses, and in a few minutes, maybe 15, I was at last Mrs. Bobbie Buster!!

And then there was more. Eloping has its good side and then there is the other, not so good side. My Daddy had to be told, my mother had to cry. We had to tell Bob's folks, too. We couldn't tell it till we could get a room in the Married Wing of Adams Hall. That was two or three weeks later...and I cried myself out of tears, almost.

That is Part of the Story........the rest to be played out in family, and now here we are 59 years later. Those that said "It will never last" and "that Charlotte is too flighty" were just blowing in the wind. The songs of our courtship are still sweet to us. We would sing "To Each His Own", "My Happiness", but most of all we loved the song "I'd Rather Have Jesus".

I would not change a thing. The hard times, and we had some, only make the good times "gooder". At the time, what I thought was love, and it was, is absolutely nothing compared to what we have now. God has blessed us over and over. I am so thankful and grateful and full of praise at his continuous love and guidance.

Wonder what the next years hold? Cannot tell but I can guarantee that there will be love aplenty and some hard times and good times and laughter and tears and there will be Bobbie and Charlotte Buster!

Bob and Charlotte now



  1. Oh, Mother! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story with us. I could just see you and Daddy on the bus! How thankful I am to have been born of that union and part of your love. Happy Anniversary! ~Mollianne

  2. I love this ... thank you. This is a story I had not heard. But those little towns are so familiar to me. You married your preacher boy just 40 miles away from where I married mine some 44 years later. I pray our life will be as full and rich as yours has been! I love you, Bigmama!

  3. What a sweet sweet story!! My Memaw and Granddaddy eloped many years ago too :)

  4. I never knew your wedding story! Thank you so much for sharing! And man did I laugh when you wrote "hang the rules". We sure love you Big Momma and Big Daddy!