Appalachia courting/love Granny Pap

Slipping Off to Get Married


Pap and Granny – Wilson Holler 1964

On my recent post Slipping Off, Shirl left a comment about slipping off to get married. It reminded me of the way Pap and Granny got married back in the day.

Granny said they really weren’t planning to slip off to get married, but that’s exactly what they ended up doing.

Granny and Pap had been dating three months and decided it was time to be married.

Granny had recently went to Blue Ridge, GA with one of her girl friends and her beau to get their marriage license, so she knew exactly where to go. One day Pap came and picked Granny up and they headed off to Blue Ridge to get their own marriage license.

After they’d secured the license Pap told Granny they ought to just go to this preacher’s house he knew that was right on the way and get married right then. Granny agreed, only the preacher wasn’t home. Not to be deterred on their newly formed mission, they went to another preacher’s house, but he wasn’t home either. Pap said we’ll try one more place and if he’s not there we’ll wait till another time.

They stopped at Henry Owenby’s house. Henry said he’d marry them. They need two witnesses. Lucky for Granny and Pap, Henry’s wife Virginia, and her sister Bertha, agreed to stand witness to their marriage.

The hard part came next. Telling Granny’s parents.

Granny said “I was scared to death to tell mamma so I told daddy and told him he’d have to tell her. Mamma was on the porch doing the washing when he told her and boy was she mad. She pitched a fit and got so red faced that I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack. She gave Jerry a good talking to, but she soon found out marrying Jerry was the best thing I ever did even if we did slip off to do it. Why later on, mamma liked Jerry better than she did me. ”

Hard to believe they only dated three months and ended up with a marriage that lasted over 50 years. Pap died just shy of their 52nd Anniversary.


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  • Reply
    O. P. Holder
    March 2, 2019 at 10:39 am

    During the 1930’s my dad had one of the few automobiles in the area. He took many couples to Blue Ridge to get hitched.
    We lived in Graham county and that was a long trip considering the road conditions at that time.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    February 9, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Tipper me and my first slipped off with just my nephew and his girl friend who went with us for witness we went to Blairsville to the house if acting Judge. He was cordial and invite us in his home. The family was eating supper of corn bread and milk that was right up my ally and they had Perry Mason on TV he never cut the TV off and married us when he finished his corn bread and milk. 1960 I guess me and Truman slipped off to Polk County Tenn

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    What a sweet story. Tipper when my mom and dad got married, here in greene county Tn. They said the preacher married them right in the middle of the road. I thought that was something cause I’ve never heard no one getting married in the rd. Bless their hearts. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    In 67 or 68 I was married at the Old Blairsville Courthouse (where you and Paul, Chitter and Chatter make and sing Music.) It was by a woman Justice of the Peace. While reading and reciting our Vows the phone kept ringing, this bother the woman, I thought it was funny. This lasted ten or twelve years and we had two Beautiful girls, Lauralea and Jennifer Rhiannon. We are good friends yet. Ken

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    February 8, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Lovely, sweet story. I love them going from preacher to preacher trying to find one home. I’ve been thinking about Granny and wondering how she is doing. Sending her hugs and prayers.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    February 8, 2019 at 10:20 am

    It’s amazing how so many people think they know what’s best for the prospective couples. When my wife and I married so many “Busy Bodies” forecast “It’ll never last” ! So far they’ve been proven wrong, since as of October 1. 2018 it’s lasted 41 years much to many of their chagrin.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Sweet story.

  • Reply
    Richard Shepherd
    February 8, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Beautiful memory, Tipper!…..My Dad and Mom slipped off to Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain’s home town, to get married back in 1944 before Dad went off to serve our country in WWII as an Army Paratrooper…..My brother, Dennis, was first born on May 7, 1945 while Dad was gone and I was born next on January 30, 1947 after he came back……I love to see the pictures and videos in my heart and mind of our lives over all these years…..My wife, Mary, and I have been married 24 years and have another whole life of lovely memories along the way…..We live here in the North Georgia Mountains now and I can’t imagine being any happier!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 9:39 am

    If my parents slipped off and got married they never talked about it. Mom said couples didn’t ‘go together’ very long before they married back in her day. God must have decided that neither of my parents could make it without the other. After 45 years of marriage, He took them back home at the same time so they could continue their marriage that was made in Heaven.
    Granny was a beautiful lady in ’64 and still is! And Pap was so handsome! He looks like Rock Hudson in the picture.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    February 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

    My Mom and Dad had been dating for a few months. He lived in Lenoir and She lived in Rhodhiss. A good drive . His car was being repossed so they decided to be married. They slipped away to SC with two friends. Mom was 18 and Dad was 24. She didnt go back home for 3 weeks. She was afraid of what her Father would do. They moved in with Dads parents and sister in a 4 room house. My Mom and Dad never lived alone til I was married and left home. They celebrated their 50th and Dad passed 3 months later. They had a happy but not easy life together. My Mom never had any regrets slipping away to be married.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Sounds familiar. My parents did a similar thing. They were married by a “justice of the peace”. They later had a church ceremony.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 8:38 am

    My wife and I dated about three and a half months, had a church wedding and so far have hung on for over 54 years. She knew I was a good catch.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Oh that was absolutely beautiful! My Mother and Daddy did the same thing although they had sort of grown up near each other from the time they were 8 years old so they new each other’s family well. One of his brothers and one of her sisters went with them and were witnesses. I think both of their Mothers cried when they came back and told them. The brothers and sisters were there at the 1st Baptist Church to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary and when they passed they had been married for 69 years.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 8, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Great love story for Valentine’s Day. Long love is beautiful.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    February 8, 2019 at 7:08 am

    It is amazing how much you look like Granny! So that’s where you get your good looks!

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    February 8, 2019 at 6:35 am

    “Hard to believe they only dated three months and ended up with a marriage that lasted over 50 years.”

    Love is a choice. Not something you fall into or that happens to you. Your parents decided to love each other, and put God in their marriage.

    I believe that love is a choice is both Biblical, as well as expermiently, true.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    February 8, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Lovely story for Valentines

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