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The Personal Histories

of

Darvil Burns McBride & Josephine Phillips McBride

 
 
MY HUSBAND TO BE

 

I don't ever remember of being suddenly struck by Darvil's existence. It seems like I'd always known him. He'd always been a part of my awareness, perhaps because of the smallness of the town.

 

Though only passively conscious of his exceptional prowess as an athlete in grammar school and junior high school. I became much more aware of his talents as he attended high school, and junior college; for, our family bought the beautiful brick house next door to their home: separated only by a dilapidated fence some fifteen feet from our own house. Darvil also participated in drama, speech and other extracurricular activities as well. He held elected offices in his school classes, and later he became the Student Body President of the high school and then of the junior college.

 

I felt comfortable and happy in my circumstances; because I too enjoyed a substantial degree of popularity. I had many close friends, and many of them were first, second and third cousins. As I continued through high school and junior college, I also enjoyed a variety of noteworthy parts in special activities and held class officer positions.

           

[Darvil:  ďJo always avoids telling the real truth about herself for fear of being thought a braggart. As her

husband, I provide the following on the sly: "Actually the bell of the town in her youth, her peers esteemed her

more than just pretty. She was one of  those rare good-lookers that when you saw her, you perceived a

complete picture -- one that piqued interest causing you to look again. You noticed her beautiful proportions,

and if you spent any time at all with her, you soon discovered her charm, that she was especially well spoken,

kind-hearted, complimentary, unassuming and always diplomatic. Actually her middle name had to be --

Popular. At a college formal dance, her program, always the first to be filled, compelled me to soon learn to

take her myself if I ever expected to dance with her."]

 

We girls of course enjoyed being present wherever the boys were. Whether church, school, civic, or private

affairs, spontaneous or organized -- we liked it there with the boys.

 

The early days of our romance were fun-filled indeed. It began after I moved to the new home on Main Street next to Darvil's. Between the two houses spread the limbs of three courtly china berry trees (We called them umbrella trees.) In the Spring, beautiful, blue clusters of blossoms appeared much like the blossoms of the Jacaranda. These eventually became green berries, the size of a marble. In time, they dried forming a hard, wrinkled, yellow berry that fell, littering the ground. Darvil would pick them up, and toss them against the windows of the kitchen, dining, or living room. When I heard them hit the windows, I would run out and easily catch the rascal. (of course I already knew exactly who it was.) From then on, that would be the signal I listened for -- and soon began to hope and wait for.

               

As a teenager, I hardly knew Darvilís eldest sister and brother, Gladys and Floyd. Already married and living elsewhere, I only took notice of their periodic visits. I hardly knew Leonard either: a wanderer, usually off to some distant place, he seldom stayed at home. Though I knew Orlando better, he was away in the east pursuing his education, then, he filled a mission. I knew him as a handsome, very, fine, young man, a fine athlete and of untarnished reputation. In time he would accomplish wonderful things. Some believed Orlando to be the cream of the crop. However, in the final analysis I got the "real pick of the McBride litter.Ē  Ruthie, three years younger than Darvil, was more than just a sister to him: they were best friends.  

 

Before I began keeping company with Darvil, I recall thinking that Ruthie (two years my senior) and two of her best friends, acted very caustic toward me. In my mind, I blamed it on the negative influence of the girl friends rather than her. Uncomfortable around the threesome, I would virtually walk a mile to avoid crossing paths. Later, Ruthie and I became the best of friends, and I discovered she exemplified the loveliest of lovelies. 

 

I knew Bruce and Frankie better because they were younger. I had gone all through school with Bruce. Beautiful, little Frankie (five years younger than I) was sweet, special and so loved, oblivious to herself, everyone was conscious of her presence.

 

So, regarding the relationship I had with Darvilís brothers and sisters, it is better visualize with this exlanation:  Every Sunday, Darvil's Mother, Clara Sims McBride, set the most elegant table with wonderful food. There were pies, some type of Jello salad and always carrot salad: I remember clearly, in small pretty dishes. An ample selection of other delicious foods filled the table, many home preserved or fresh from her garden. I don't remember all of the main dishes, but I do relish the memory of roast beef, brown gravy and mashed potatoes.

 

At age seventeen, eighteen and older, Darvil often invited me to eat with them. I loved being there, because all during and after dinner the family would sit and tell an endless string of funny stories and jokes, while all the time funning among themselves. They and I, would laugh and laugh helplessly until our sides ached -- as they frolicked with words. Those Sunday dinners were ever so entertaining. I just loved them.

 

Finagling his way slowly into my heart, Darvil and I passed increasing amounts of time together in many pleasant ways. Enjoying, and then, even craving his company, I often went with him to the church house, when he would do his janitorial work. We visited as we walked together to the church house which was a block up and a block over from our homes. While he worked, I stayed as near to him as I could without hindering. Never, did I touch a broom, but I did help him some with dusting the pews.         

 

[Darvil:  Here, in cahoots with the typist again, I'll sneak in another comment: Yes, Jo would even follow me

back and forth across the cultural hall floor, as I pushed the broom. One time, unconsciously, Iím sure she

almost followed me into the menís restroom.]

 

These precious times together continued until after the summer he graduated from Gila Junior College (formerly, the L.D.S. Church Academy). Having reached the age of twenty and after the wonderful summer ended, he went to Northern Arizona to attend Northern Arizona University (formerly, Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff).

 

There he supposedly fell for another girl and also supposedly tried to keep it secret that he was going with her. Of course, I eventually knew through the grapevine. Mildred (Millie) Foster, a cousin to a long time friend, Mid Johnson, was a delicate, slender redhead. She was cute!  In time I discovered that he didnít actually fall in love with her. He thought her cute, fun to visit with, to dance with and in general to keep company with.

 

But his ulterior motive to make me jealous, worked. And jealous I was! The ploy to focus my attention on him even more, in hopes of creating in me a greater desire toward him, succeeded. He also concocted various, other schemes to keep my attention: like dropping little hints in his letters etc. But, no need, I already knew (at least I thought I knew) that he had eyes for another. [Darvil:  In my eyes, Millie never measured up to Jo.]

 

Millie lived up the valley in Duncan, another small Mormon town. A few times she and he came home in the same car and dropped him off in Thatcher as they passed through. Darvil often laughed about a statement she had made. She told the others in the car she would buy the treats if they would stop at a certain roadside shop, if the boys would go in the store for them. After stopping they invited her to come along with them. But, wearing unlaced knickers (Pants with lacing down the lower part of the leg and cuff she had unlaced for comfort.) She said, "Oh no! I cant go with you; my pants are down!"  Not only exceptionally cute, Millie had a fine reputation of being a model of decency.

 

One of our first dates happened while Darvil's mother visited a daughter in Phoenix. Ruthie and he, and friends, invited dates to come to their home for a potluck party. He asked me to be his date. Well, nobody had any money in those days, so Darvil and some of the other boys went down to the river bottom among the tamarack and willow trees with their flippers (sling shots). They killed a huge number of doves for the meat dish. Also, each couple received an assignment of a specific dish, and we were to make baking powder biscuits. So with all the many, delicious foods along with a bunch of dove breasts as our main course, we had a wonderful feast, and a wonderful time with wonderful company.

 

Prior to the first several dates, I had never felt any special interest toward Darvil. I just kind of liked him and all of the boys, but I did begin to notice a special something about him. Always kind, quiet and reserved, he never placed himself in the limelight, yet he stood out among the others with an unexplainable aura.

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