One of Phyllis McCarter’s best girlfriends was engaged to 20-year-old George Reprogle while he was in the Army, but while he was overseas, he realized he didn’t love her and broke off the engagement.
When he came back to Kokomo in 1947, he began attending Zion Tabernacle Church’s youth group again and started to take notice of a petite, black-haired and beautiful young girl.
That young girl was Phyllis, and she often acted as the messenger for George’s ex-fiancee. Phyllis would deliver notes from her to George because his ex-fiancee was trying to get him to go back with her.
Her days as a messenger came to an end after a conversation with George’s grandmother.
“His grandmother came up to me and said ‘I know somebody George would like to go with, but he’s afraid she’s too young,’” Phyllis said. “I thought, ‘Whoa, I wonder if she means me.’”
George didn’t have eyes for any other girl and Phyllis always thought George was the cutest boy in youth group, but she never thought anything of it. She was 15 and thought he wouldn’t be interested in someone her age.
“If he’s got any feelings toward me, I’m gonna grab him up,” Phyllis said. “So boy I quit taking notes from those other girls.”
Phyllis was one year shy of being allowed to date, but George still found a way to show his affection for her. He and a friend would drive Phyllis and her sister home from church and, in the car, he’d reach over the arm of the seat and hold her hand.
“It got my heart pounding,” Phyllis said.
Once she was home, the scent of George’s cologne, Old Spice, still filled the air.