Seventy-six years ago, September 1, 1935 on a quiet Sunday evening in Amarillo, Texas, Dorothy Alice Beeman donned her new “three piece suit of London fog blue with grey lapin trim and grey accessories,” pinned on her lilies of the valley corsage. She took a deep breath and her father’s arm. They stepped into the living room of 2102 Fillmore where Lewis Nordyke, her college sweetheart, stood waiting along side her uncle Will Buchanan. Uncle Will, a Baptist minister, said the words, they made their vows and turned toon the world—husband and wife.
The newspaper account reports that the young couple promptly headed for
where Lewis worked for the Associated Press. That’s almost right. They didn’t head straight for Dallas . They headed straight for the Herring Hotel in downtown Dallas . Probably not posh by today’s standard, but the poshest thing in Amarillo in 1935. Once there, Lewis excused himself to go downstairs for a Lucky while she changed. Amarillo
Years later she told her daughters how she put on her new white ‘nightie,’ hopped into bed and pulled the covers tight under her chin and waited, not quite sure, she told them what would happen next. (I questioned that then, and, having read some of the love letters, question that still.)
She waited, and she waited, and then she waited some more. It was a good thing she’d packed a book in with the nightie, because she waited for over an hour. Turned out, Lewis had “bumped into some old boy, and they got to talking. He forgot all about coming back upstairs to me,” she told the girls.
The younger daughter wondered how mad she got. She didn’t get mad, she explained, “That’s what it’s like to be married to a newspaper man.”