Carolyn Beeler caught Joe Price’s eye when they first met at a mutual friend’s home in North Manchester in 1953.
Seventeen-year-old Carolyn from Sydney, and 18-year-old Joe from Laketon, did a little chit-chatting that day, but Joe waited until the weekend to ask her out. They both thought the other was quiet, but they enjoyed each other’s company.
“I thought she was a very attractive lady,” he said. “I just liked the way she looked.”
They went on their first of many dates to see a movie in Fort Wayne, then to Frisch’s Big Boy afterward. Joe and Carolyn dated for a year. They attended square dances together and visited with each other’s parents a lot.
“We just kept dating and that’s what it felt like it was going to be for us, was each other,” Carolyn said. “We were together so much I thought we were going to get married.”
In fact it was inside a movie theater that Joe hinted at a possible proposal.
“He said, ‘After the movie, I got something to give you.’ I wanted the movie to hurry up and be over,” Carolyn laughed.
In the car on the way to her home, he gave her a ring and she accepted.
They knew that it was likely Joe would get drafted, so they waited for his notice to come in before they set a wedding date. The notice never came and they got tired of waiting, so they planned to wed on June 20, 1954.
Unfortunately, they didn’t wait long enough.
“I went to the post office, saw that thing from the government and knew exactly what it was,” Joe said.
They had to change almost all their wedding plans, including the date. It was a little stressful for the couple since they had to quickly plan a wedding, but two weeks after Joe got his draft notice, he and Carolyn were married on May 30, 1954, at Brethren Church in North Manchester when Joe was 19 and Carolyn was 18. They went on a short honeymoon to South Bend days before Joe had to leave for basic training.