Dating & Courting Ginger

We dated during two or three different time periods. First it was off and on during the two years I was Youth Minister at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Dallas where her mother was one of the best volunteer youth workers I had ever had. She was wonderful with the kids and so sweet and nice to me. Dorothy was probably one of my reasons to continue dating Ginger during those years at Hillcrest. After all, my Mom had told me more that once, “Charles, look at a girls mother and get to know her because that is who she will be like when she is older.” Or something like that which made perfect sense! And I believed it! But I’m sorry to say that it is not always true and certainly was not so in this case. In some ways Ginger was the opposite of her mother, never becoming a partner in my various ministries during our marriage, in fact criticizing and jeopardizing much of my work. But I could not have foreseen that back then, I don’t believe.

We would go to movies and eat out as a common date, but also did some single activities at First Baptist Dallas where she was attending. I did not include her in my youth activities at Hillcrest because it would have implied we were serious or planning to get married which was not the case at that time. In fact, I begin to have doubts about continuing my relationship with her, especially after the minister of education at Hillcrest gently suggested that I be careful with her because she had previously been in the hospital for mental or emotional problems. I did not see or believe that then, but only later after marriage.

Though I got no photos of us dating, here’s some things from my scrapbook related to us:

Towards the end of my time at Hillcrest I began to see less of her and when I was talking with the Brotherhood Commission and excited about going there for a new national consultant job, which I ended up accepting. For more of my life then, see my complete Hillcrest Scrapbook or to another Hillcrest-Related Links (mostly to trip galleries).

When I got to Memphis and my new job in Spring of 1969 I was overwhelmed with learning the new work through the rest of that year. Then on New Year’s Eve 1969 at the Second Baptist Church Watch Night Service I was praying about the coming year and in that prayer asked God what I was going to do about getting a girl friend that I could eventually marry. I did not feel like any of the Memphis girls I had dated thus far were “the right fit” for me. In that prayer, Ginger somehow came to my mind and I thought it was God’s will or his urging (which I don’t so believe now). Thus sometime in January 1970 I called Ginger and told her I had a trip out west that had me changing planes in Dallas. I could stop over for a weekend visit and get reacquainted if she was interested? She said she was. She had quit her college work in music and was working full-time for Bell Telephone as an operator and lived with a roommate girl who later became a life-long friend of mine since she had lived with Ginger and better than most people understood the difficulties I had living with her. 🙂 I spent that weekend with Ginger and we started corresponding and a made several Dallas stops on future trips and I think I may have driven down once. So the first half of 1970 became our second or third dating period. See my SCRAPBOOK: Courting Ginger from Memphis that include a few of the many letters.

And some photos from that time period with the only ones of us together is when I took her to Crystal Springs to meet my parents (Mom or Dad made those photos, one maybe right after marriage.):

In April of that year I asked her to marry me and she said yes! I let her pick out the rings. Then we started planning a wedding. Because I had a mission trip to Mexico in July overlapping into August, we planned it for August 15, 1970 when I would have been back in the states (went directly to Dallas) just 3 days. I stayed with her Grandfather (her Mother’s father) and the night before the wedding she stayed there too and stayed up much of the night finishing her sewing on her own wedding dress. She was always bad about putting things off until the last minute and that upset me the night before the wedding with even thoughts then of “backing out” but I knew it was too late. I had people coming from many states for the wedding and I was committed. See more of that 1969-70 year before marriage for me in my 1969-70 Memphis Scrapbook. And my biggie RA Trip that year as a separate Scrapbook: 1970 Mexico Mission Trip, right before the wedding. 🙂 And later I organized the same trip files/photos differently in one of my “Trip Galleries:” 1970 Mexico-South Texas RA Trip. 🙂 Next to marriage, this was my proudest accomplishment my first year at the Brotherhood Commission, though one of many! I had also re-written the RA manuals for the new SBC 1970’s grouping-grading system and was in the process of rewriting the RA Campcraft Manual and helping design a new RA Uniform. A really BIG YEAR in many, many ways! 🙂

Now for the next page, The Wedding in Dallas . . .

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