“I was so embarrassed and his mother just laughed and laughed and laughed,” Peggy said.
His mom helped clean her up, and it was a definite ice-breaker moment for the two. As 1951 approached, Jerry decided to make a change in his and Peggy’s relationship.
He was hesitant to make a move, since he was the perfect draft age for the Korean War, but he decided to take a chance on love.
He asked Peggy for his class ring back.
“I thought he was breaking up with me,” Peggy said. Jerry had a different plan in mind.
“When he took [the class ring], he put an engagement ring on my finger,” Peggy said. “But to this day, he never asked me to marry him. So I don’t know if we’re legally married or not,” she joked.
The engagement came as a surprise to Peggy, she had no idea he was that interested in her, but she was happy, although she wasn’t too keen on him entering the service.
For the next several months, Jerry went to basic training in Kentucky, and he and Peggy only saw each other a few times.
One Wednesday in May, Jerry called Peggy while she was at work and said he was finished with basic and would be home that weekend. He wanted to get married.
He hitchhiked back to Indiana, and was supposed to get there by Saturday evening, when they had the rehearsal dinner.
He never showed up for it.
“I thought he had dumped me,” Peggy said.
She didn’t know that there had been a hitch in his hitchhiking plans. The guy who was supposed to take him to Indianapolis decided not to, and Jerry was stuck in Terre Haute until he could find someone to take him to Indianapolis, then to Kokomo, where he had his own car there to drive to Logansport.