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Murwine & Mary Lou: A Love Story

When asked about her teenage years, Mary Lou thought that times were hard and no boy would ever notice her. “A boy walked home with me one time,” she said, “but he was asking how to get on the good side of my girl friend.”

So she really didn’t see Murwine coming.

The two met in 1941, at Jackson, Mississippi’s First Baptist Church. Mary Lou thought Murwine was a “very nice boy” but said she had no idea he had “designs” on her. Murwine was not daunted by her obliviousness. When their group of friends went to the zoo, he paired off with her. Then he asked her to dinner and was subsequently invited to meet her parents.

The two of them met because Murwine was stationed at the Army Air Force base there in Jackson. The attack on Pearl Harbor happened during the same year, and the 69th Bomb Squadron shipped out.

Murwine and Mary Lou’s letters to each other started out light and friendly, but soon blossomed into love. The couple gradually decided they would marry, and when Murwine arrived back in the States, he proposed.

They were married in Pascagoula, MS, on June 9, 1944. Because they got married during war time and there were gas rations, Mary Lou barely made it to the neighboring town of Gulfport to buy a wedding dress. Even then, the best she could find was a long, blue dinner gown. Mary Lou said, “We were married in church but it was not a church wedding, if you know what I mean.”

Their first apartment on base in Great Bend, KS consisted of one room with cement floors. They pushed the twin beds together and less than a year later, in 1945, my mom Carolyn was born. I’m not sure what size bed they obtained when they moved to Miami, FL; but whatever it was worked, and their second child, my uncle David, made his debut in1948.

Murwine once said he worried about what he and Mary Lou would talk about all the years of their marriage. Maybe that’s why he memorized the tenor part of You Are My Sunshine. So they could sing together instead. But 57 years flew by without too much trouble. Murwine and Mary Lou remained faithful and devoted to each other until he passed away in 2001. Six years later, Mary Lou followed.

I know I’m partial, but I feel there’s something to be said for my grandparent’s story. It’s simple and sweet. While it’s not exciting enough to be re-told in Hollywood, it possesses a solid beauty from an era long gone.

So tomorrow, I will celebrate what would’ve been their 68th anniversary, considering it a testimony of true love.

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  1. You never cease to send a shiver up my spine. I want to write just like you one day when I grow up, and time is running out.

    You honor your grandparents with the words you write and the life you live. I hear their echo in every line.

  2. Kathy

    Beautiful love story 😉

  3. Happy Anniversary, Mary Lou and Murwine.

  4. Carolyn Trucano

    As a child growing up, my family would drive every summer for two days from FL to MS to visit my grandparents.
    During daylight hours, my brother and I in the back seat would read books, create art with crayons and coloring books, or stay busy passing food or coffee to my parents in the front seat.
    However, in the dark hours of traveling, our family would sing songs. We would all join in songs like She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain, etc. Whenever my parents started singing You Are My Sunshine, we kids would drop out just to listen to the sweet harmony. It was their special song, and we instinctively knew it. It indeed “possesses a solid beauty from an era long gone.” Thank you for the beautiful memories, Beth.

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