Louise & Edwin, A Love Story

IMG_0051Louise Moorer was a country girl from St. George, South Carolina. She was one of eleven children. She had four living sisters and five living brothers (Jewell, Mae, Margarite, Pearl, Claude, Percy, Van Bueren, Billy & Richard). Their brother, Bruce, had died when he was a teen-ager from injuries sustained in an auto accident. However, they never failed to mention him when they talked about their family. Louise would be the only child in the Moorer family that graduated from high school. She loved school and didn’t mind walking the five miles to school every day. She went rain, snow, sleet or shine. She made her dresses out of flour sacks. She became quite a seamstress and her clothes were envied by her classmates.
She had a passion for learning and loved to read. She was an A student. After graduation, she went to Charleston to find a job. Her Daddy told her that she was to stay with her sister, Jewell, and her husband, Henry, and she could help out with their rent. That was her plan.
When she got there (it was around the time of the depression) jobs were very scarce. There was one job listed at S.H. Kress (a Five & Ten Cent Store) on King Street in downtown Charleston. She arrived bright and early at 7:30a.m. and was met by a line of people that went around a city block. She wondered how in the world could she get this job with so many people applying. She waited along with all the others until it was her turn to be interviewed. She felt as if the interview went well, but knew that there were so many others who applied. Well luck would have it, she got the job. She was thrilled beyond means.
After she had been working at Kress’s for a few weeks, she began to meet other young ladies and gentlemen who worked there also. Among them would be a dashing young man by the name of Edwin Welling who was as handsome as could be. They became friends, laughing and joking around and often eating lunch together. She felt very comfortable with Edwin, but there was no romantic interest, at least on her part.
Edwin missed a few days of work and Louise became concerned about her friend so she called him on the telephone and inquired about his health. He told her that he had come down with a terrible case of athlete’s foot and it hurt to walk, but it was getting better and he would be back soon. He was delighted that she had called. She was the prettiest girl that worked at Kresses and was so nice and well mannered, a real knock-out.
A week or so after he came back the work, Louise and her girl friends were starting to walk home together and Edwin joined them. Louise thought he was sweet on one of her friends, but when the girl turned off at her corner, Edwin was still with her small group. When she got to her corner, Edwin turned off with her and escorted her to her front porch and parked himself on the swing. She sat and talked with him for awhile, then she excused herself telling him that she had a date so she had to go inside and get ready.
Later that evening, when she heard the door knocker, she went to the door to find Cliff, her date, there but she was also shocked to see that Edwin had not relinquished his seat on the swing. She introduced the two men and told Edwin that they were leaving now to go to the picture show at The Gloria Theater. Edwin said nothing, but got up and walked along side them with Louise in the middle of the two handsome young men. Louise began to get fuming mad. Edwin seemed not to notice and joined them in the theater as well with Cliff on one side and Edwin on the other. Louise was embarrassed as well as becoming angrier by the minute. That didn’t bother Edwin one iota. He stayed through the movie, even joined them at the Sweet Shoppe for ice cream and for the walk home. In fact when they got to the house, Louise and Cliff said their good-byes and Cliff left with Edwin still glued to the porch swing. Louise was furious and didn’t say a word to him, but went straight into the house and to bed. She was going to let him have it the next day at work for sure.

The next day at work, as soon as she had the chance, she scolded Edwin for ruining her date with Cliff. He just shrugged it off and told her that if she would go out with him, that wouldn’t happen again. She turned and walked away. Edwin would continue his campaign and invite her to go out with him every time she ran into him. He also continued to walk her home every day. She tried going home later or earlier, but he always seemed to pop up. Finally, he wore her down and she accepted a date with him. He wooed her with flowers and candy and said all the right things to this beautiful lady that he had fallen madly in love with. It worked for him as she began to love his company and she felt that spark when he was around her.

After they had been dating for about three months, they went to the Fair with some of their friends. As they walked along the fairway hand in hand, Edwin dropped to one knee, with a diamond ring in his hand, asked Louise to marry him. She was overwhelmed as well as a little bit embarrassed. She said, “Edwin, get up off your knee.”
“Not until you say yes,” he answered.
“Well, yes, I will marry you, now get up.” she answered. He put the ring on her finger and the engagement was tendered, but not until he gave her a big kiss in front of everyone. He loved Louise with all of his heart just as she did him. They would marry on Christmas Eve and had a loving relationship, raised two daughters. Only death could depart them as it did many years later. 
Edwin would say that Louise saved his life. She never quite knew exactly what he meant by that, but theirs was a love story for the century, the kind that I knew that I wanted.

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