A little love story in honor of Valentine’s day…
When I was a child I particularly loved those stormy winter nights with a hard rain and thunder and lightning. I remember standing with my sister in front of the crackling fire in the Franklin stove in our family room, begging our parents to tell us again how they met, knowing that with the storm outside and their memory of another storm years before, they couldn’t help but indulge us.
Dad would start… “I was sitting on a bar stool in Tiburon and somebody came in. He said, ‘Tom, the Brotzes are having a party next week. There’ll be lots of pretty girls there. Do you and John want to go?’ I said, ‘I can’t speak for John, but I’ll go.’”
So Dad went to the party. There he met an attractive brunette, Mrs. Hartman. Big brown eyes. A great smile. And could she fill out a dress!!!! (wink wink) They spent the evening talking.
And then Mom would chime in… “A few days later, I was on the street car and So-and-so who was at the party asked me if I was going to marry Tom and I said ‘Yes.’”
But I’m not sure Dad was yet on the same page… “A couple of days after the party Whosit wanted to know if I’d called Rosemary yet. I said, ‘No.’ ‘Well, why not?!!!!’ ‘Well, she’s divorced.’ Whosit laughed, ‘No, you idiot. She’s a widow!’”
Well that was all the encouragement Tom Kircher needed. He called Rosemary up. Three weeks later they were engaged, and three weeks later they were married. And the rest is history.
But… but… tell the part about the storm. Pleeeeease!!!!!
Dad would continue…“So, early on we went on a date. Your mother was living with Grandma and Grandpa Brown. I picked her up and we went out. And then I brought her back home. And I was going to take the street car back to downtown, but it would go out to the ocean first, and then go downtown. So I got on it, and it did go out to the ocean, but then with the storm and the lightning it just shut down. No power. So I had to walk back to her house in the rain… And ask to stay the night… In her parents’ house. That I’d just met.”
Then Mom would finish the story, “So I made up the couch for him. And in the morning I made him breakfast. And I burned the eggs. But he married me anyway.”
My mother’s been gone more than 30 years and my dad eight, but even today when it’s a stormy night and the rain’s falling and the thunder’s rumbling, the memory of my parents’ story fills my heart and warms me all up inside. Now, go tell your kids your own love story.
 I’ll tell the story much as I remember it, as my parents told it to me. I hope you historians out there will indulge me. The quotations probably aren’t exact, but close enough for my heart to love it and my head to be OK with any discrepancies
 Herman and Leila Brotz were friends of my mother, kind of an honorary uncle and aunt. I think they lived in Oakland at the time. Leila was from New Zealand and had the most charming accent. I have no idea who it was in Tiburon who knew the Brotzes and how they knew they were having a party.
 This was so like Dad, with that Jesuit education of his. He’d answer just what was asked, no more, no less, and absolutely no way would he answer for his brother!
 I’m sure Mom said a name, but since I’m something of a historian and I can’t lie and make up the name so, you’ll just have to use your imagination that it was one of her girlfriends
 See footnote 4… (but one of Dad’s guy friends)
 Yes, this nice Catholic boy met “Mrs. Hartman” and, though she was quite the looker, there was absolutely no way no how that he was getting involved with a divorcee!
 My mom and her parents lived at 1254 45th Avenue in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, about a half a block south of Golden Gate Park and about 5 blocks from the Great Highway which runs along Ocean Beach
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.