How A 'No' Led To A 'Yes' In 1959 Jim Crane really liked the girls in college. And they liked him, too. But the one girl who was immune to his charm is the one he wanted. Here's how he won her over.
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How A 'No' Led To A 'Yes' In 1959

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How A 'No' Led To A 'Yes' In 1959

How A 'No' Led To A 'Yes' In 1959

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(Soundbite of music)

DON GONYEA, host:

Time now, for StoryCorps. It's the project recording interviews between family members and loved ones. Today a father talks about what he discovered in college. Jim Crane went to college in 1955. The experience, as we'll hear him tell daughter Missy Wordman, was a revelation - starting on the first day.

Mr. JIM CRANE: I was finally away from my mother. I found out what girls were, never dated at all in high school. I found out they were soft and they smell good and I liked them. In my senior year, I met your mother. I was working at a business office. She was the switchboard operator. And I'd come up the hall whistling and she'd always fuss at me because she was trying to hear. Well, I got to talking to her, I got to liking her. I finally said, you wanna go to a movie with me?

And she said, no.

Ms. MISSY WORDEN: Really?

I said why? And she said, I've double-dated with you. I see what you do to those girls in the backseat.

I thought, well I never had a girl tell me no. So the girl was dating in Charlotte, North Carolina, I'd given her my pin. So I wrote and told her to send it back to me. And the girl I was dating in town, I'd given her some little something or other and I told her to give that back to me. And another girl I was dating on campus, I'd done something for her, and I told her to give that back to me.

So I got those three things and I took them over to the switchboard and I laid them down. And I said, now, look-a-here. I done broke up with all three of those girls. I said, will you go to a movie with me? And she said, OK.

And so we started dating. And we graduated in 1959. I went immediately into the Navy.

And I was gonna give her a diamond engagement ring when I got paid at the end of boot camp. But the Navy screwed up the pay somehow, and everybody got paid but me. Well, I'd told everybody what I was going to do with my money, and I was very despondent.

I was sitting on my bed and this guy I didn't like came up to me and he said, Crane, give me a match. I said, I don't smoke and I don't have matches. He said, yeah you do. I've seen them in your locker. And I gave a great oof, and stood up and went to my locker and opened it.

And my locker was full of money.

And the money started falling out, so I sat down and cried. And I guess they passed the hat. I used that money to buy your mother's first diamond ring.

And I said, now, you're going to marry me, but you gotta know that you're engaged to Company 290. So she said, that's fair.

Ms. WORDEN: She's a very loving lady.

Mr. CRANE: She really is. She's a good gal.

(Soundbite of music)

GONYEA: Jim Crane with daughter Missy Worden at StoryCorps in Atlanta. Jim and his wife, Juna(ph), celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary next week. Today's interview will be archived at the American Folk Center in the Library of Congress. Get the StoryCorps Podcast at npr.org.

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