Grandpa Loren in College

Grandpa Loren decided to stay in his home city when picking a college, selecting Drake University in his home city of Des Moines, Iowa. He went to Drake because it had an excellent music program and majored in music education.  He became a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity of Music.  He was also acted and sang in opera at Drake, winning top male vocal in two operas.

It is there where he would meet his future wife, Darlyne Luhman in 1935. Evidence of this rests in the personal Christmas card he sent her that year. My Aunt Joanna recalls Grandpa telling her the story of how they first met. Apparently Grandpa Loren was getting ready to perform a solo for an upcoming performance but he needed a piano player to accompany him while he practiced. He was in the theatre and noticed a lovely little “gal” sitting on the piano so he walked up to her and said, “Honey, I need you to play this song for me while I sing.” As the story goes, Grandma Darlyne got offended because he called her “honey,” (let’s keep in mind that this is the 1930s) got up and left Grandpa just standing there.

Grandpa Loren took a break from college in the fall of 1936 to go into sales, but while he was away he sent Darlyne many letters.  Whenever they were apart he would write her, none more important than this one:

“Well Tootsie-Wootsie-Honey-Bunnie,(Ha-Ha) I must journey on.  I will be counting the minutes until I see you.  For the first time, I put on paper, I love you more than anything in the world.  Will you marry me?  Your Sweetheart, Loren.”  (August 26, 1937)

Grandpa Graduated from Drake in August of 1941.

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