For the month of February, we're sharing stories of love beyond Valentine's Day. Over the weekend we posted a photo/love story on our Instagram account of Albert and Gloria, the parents of Storyhouse founder Kathryn Gonzales. Today, we're sharing the story in it's entirety, along with a bonus audio story gallery!
Albert saw Gloria at a carnival in 1963 in Austin, Texas. He knew immediately he wanted to ask her on a date, but it was complicated. Gloria's parents were strict and only the boy she was going to marry was allowed at her home. So, for FOUR YEARS, she'd walk up the street to a neighborhood store on 4th St. in East Austin and he'd pick her up and court her at places like Barton Springs Pool, Sandy's Hamburgers or dancing at the City Coliseum.
One day, Albert finally got the nerve to go over to Gloria's house, mostly out of necessity. He was worried about Gloria because she fell quite ill and he wanted to see her. Gloria's father was not too pleased with this, but her mother convinced him to allow it...this time.
Sadly, Gloria's dad became bedridden after Albert's first visit so he felt more comfortable visiting so that he could support Gloria and her family during this difficult time (and because he knew her father couldn't hurt him too much in his current state).
Albert and Gloria skipped the romantic proposal which was a little unheard of in their day. When it became evident that her father might not bounce back from his illness, Albert suggested they marry quickly so that her father could attend the wedding. But his health declined rapidly and they postponed their wedding date twice because they were closely monitoring his health.
Finally, they made an agreement to pick a day and stick to it, no matter what. The two wed on January 21, 1968. It was bittersweet for Gloria with her father lying on his death bed, but she remembers having a great deal of fun with their friends and family. Albert's brother had a band at the time and they served as entertainment during the reception.
Gloria's father passed away while they were on their honeymoon on Town Lake, then a fancy "staycation". One of the reasons their daughter launched Storyhouse is because she never got to meet her grandfather or hear any of his stories and she wanted to help families preserve theirs for future generations.