Going courting involved getting to see or spend some time with your significant other. In the mountains, early families did not allow their children to go courting alone. Normally, a brother or sister had to go along. Many times the beau had to come to the home of the girl if he wanted to see her or “court” her. Other words used for courting were: dating, sparking, being sweet on, or taking up with.
My grandmother, Benia Mae, told me stories of getting to go courting. According to her, her sister, Irene, would often be required to tag along. The ironic part of this was that the sisters ended up marrying brothers! Many times these courters would “slip off” and get married. Back in those days, there may not have been vehicles to drive to go courting. They usually had to walk just to get to see their sweetheart.
Most courters met in church as it was the most frequented place the family visited. This also included one of the places they were allowed to go on an official date. There just wasn’t that much to do or that many places to go back in those days.
I met my husband in the creek near my aunt’s house. He was working in tobacco for my aunt’s husband. I thought he was the most handsome boy I’d ever seen! We quickly fell in love. He was required to visit me at my house until we were able to go on a date later. Our first date was a double date with his friend, Robbie, and Robbie’s girlfriend, Sharon. We drove all the way across the mountain from Sneedville to McDonald’s. I was too embarrassed to eat in front of him, so I skipped the meal. I was hungry but I was afraid I’d get food stuck in my teeth and wouldn’t get a kiss!!