I was but a poor student at U.C. Berkeley but married a gal from Carmel, California who was on her way to New Zealand to work her way around the world as a midwife. This is the way it happened:
I was grading ‘blue books’ (exam booklets) for Dr. Balsam at Monterey Peninsula College where I had studied before going to Berkeley. He would send them to me in a package via. Greyhound. I would grade them and send them back several days later. Well one day he sent me a letter saying that he had been hospitalized and was now at home under the care of a wonderful nurse. He said that either I or my best buddy, Mark Marquess, a student in Slavic Languages and Literature, or his son Alan, a psychologist working in Guatemala, should marry this girl.
Well, I, thought, this was at least worth a date or two so on my next visit to Monterey I met her at Dr. Balsam’s house. We arranged for a date in San Francisco where we went to a German restaurant/dance hall. Both of us were avid folk dancers and knew the dances played by the old timers in their lederhosen. After several more dance dates and walks around the Monterey peninsula Mary Ann told me she has purchased her boat ticket to New Zealand and had plans to mid-wife her way around the world. She asked me if I would take her luggage to the boat as she was going to fly to Hawaii with a girlfriend for a brief vacation and catch it there.
That caught me off guard but I quickly responded “If you married me we could go together at a later date.” She said she would have to think about it and would respond in the morning. Obviously she said “Yes”. Her mother flew out from Wisconsin for the wedding. On the morning of the wedding Mary Ann asked if I would take her mother for a drive so she could get dressed and packed for the honeymoon.
It just so happened that as I came over the hill above Carmel the axel of her car broke and left us stranded. I was in a panic. How was I to pick up Mary Ann and get to the church? How was I to get to the reception? How was I going to get to Berkeley after the wedding? Meanwhile Mary Ann’s mother was yapping away, telling me I should get a used part as they are cheaper, etc, etc. She did not know anything about cars and could not drive. I finally got fed up and told her to shut up and get out of the car and wait on a nearby bench until picked up. Shocked, she did as I asked with no response. Friends came to my aid and we handled everything. Mary Ann’s mother got to the wedding OK and left for Wisconsin the next day.
The wedding reception was at the home of Mollie and Ukio Sumida, prominent members of the Japanese American community. The flowers were prepared by members of the Ikebana society and the food was a magnificent Japanese feast. Many of our Ise and Nisei friends were there to celebrate our marriage. I didn’t want to leave but eventually we took off for Berkeley in a borrowed car.
In the days before the wedding I searched for an apartment in Berkeley and found a small one-bedroom apartment on University Avenue. I immediately painted it and bought used furniture and installed a brick and board bookcase for my books. When Mary Ann arrived in Berkeley after the wedding and entered the apartment her face fell. She was shocked at the tiny apartment as she had just left having the lower floor of an elegant home on the hill overlooking Carmel and the beach. She got used to it, eventually.
Our honeymoon was a car camping trip up to Washington State where we were among the last campers at Mt. Rainier. We visited my aunt Peg and Uncle Steve in Yakima before returning to Berkeley.