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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: "There Wasn't Any Dating" With the Boy I'm Going to Marry (Sep 30, 2011)

This Friday as part of StoryCorps in Oklahoma, we hear from Sheriel Bluitt-Woldrop. When she was a small child attending one of Oklahoma City’s most historic elementary schools, she met a boy who would leave a lasting impression.

Sheriel Bluitt-Woldrop: “We lived in Oklahoma City’s northeast quadrant on the west side of Dunbar Elementary School. I don’t know if it’s been demolished, but they closed it in March 2010.

My mom attended Dunbar years ago, and it was not part of the city limits, so we had to walk. We did not have public transportation, and very few people had automobiles at that time. In order to get to Dunbar, which was many miles away, John Woldrop, Sr. would drive us to Dunbar. He would drive three boys in the family. I would go across the street to where they lived to ride in the car. Before I got to school, the boys would take my ribbons off my hair and untie my dress, so I kind of looked like a little hoodlum by the time I got to school. I’m sure my kindergarten teacher thought that my mom did not dress me properly!”

Joyce Coleman: “So basically, your future husband used to torture you, that’s cute!”

SBW: “But we were just playmates, we did not know that we would marry years later.”

JC: “Now didn’t he, years later, pretend to want to study with Uncle Butch, but he really wanted to see you?”

SBW: “That’s correct. After graduating from high school, I went to New York to go to school, and my husband graduated from college and went to Kansas, then California. On return to Oklahoma City, he would look out his kitchen window, and he saw my car one day, and he said ‘Oh, Sheriel is home!’ He would come over to study with my youngest brother Anthony, pretending he was studying with Anthony. He would bring his books, and we would speak, but I went my way. There wasn’t any dating or anything…”

JC: “You didn’t know he liked you?”

SBW: “No, I had no clue. Then I moved to my own apartment, and one day he came with his books under his arm, smiling, and I said ‘What are you coming over here for? Anthony’s not here.’ But that was his cover, then we married a few years later, in 1967 we married.”

Produced for KGOU by Brian Hardzinski, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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