Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

January 12, 2014

Journey to her dream man

Sixteen-year-old Carol Thornton fell in love with William Jewell in 1945

Carol Thornton had three criteria for her dream man.

“If I could find a guy with a letter sweater, someone who would truly like me, and while we’re at it, if he had a car,” she said to her girlfriend in the mid-1940s. “About a week later, that’s when I met Bill.”

They were high school sophomores in Terre Haute, and on the first day of their term, Carol arrived to English class early. She was the only one in the room. She looked up as William “Bill” Jewell entered the classroom and watched as he looked at all the empty chairs before sitting down right across from her.

“I thought, ‘Hmm that’s strange,’” Carol said. “He didn’t say a word the entire time and neither did I.”

Even though they didn’t speak to each other that day, Carol remembered who Bill Jewell was. In fact, she remembered that they had shared a kiss the year before when a group of teenagers played spin the bottle at a kissing party.

Bill didn’t remember the kiss, but he knew he wanted to get acquainted with Carol.

“I looked in there, saw her, and I had to go over there,” Bill said. “So I went over there. She was just somebody I had to get to know.”

Carol knew what kind of person Bill was. He had good character. He never flirted around a lot with other girls like so many boys in school did. She also knew that he had three letter sweaters, and he even had a car. He exceeded her dream man criteria.

“I knew what kind of person I wanted and he fit the bill,” she said.

Months later, Bill took Carol home from a sock hop and they started going on a few dates. On school days, when Carol went home for lunch, she would ride back to school with whoever picked her up first. Some days it was Bill, and other days it was another guy.

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