In the fall of 1939, I entered the School of Music at Illinois Wesleyan. Just coming out of the Great Depression, with fears of our involvement in Europe’s strife, I had a lot to learn about the world, as well as campus life.
Somewhere in the bustling, music-making corridors of Presser Hall, I met an organ major, James Winn, from Mount Vernon. Attraction clicked right away as we had background experiences in common. I learned his schedule, in order to cross paths on campus, to go to Presser Hall when he had practice hours on the big organ, and to notice as he played bassoon in the orchestra, seated behind me as I played cello.
Early dates were mostly freebies, walks downtown for window shopping, and fraternity-sorority dances. Our wooden swing on the big, front porch of the Delta Omicron house was a neat spot, if someone else didn’t beat us to it.
The following fall, I managed to move into a Presser Hall locker right beside his, so contacts were more frequent. In October, when he gave me his Phi Mu Alpha pin, we were invited to be guests at an evening dinner at the fraternity house. As we were leaving, I remember how the president said to us, “This one will last.” [in letter with photos she explained, “the Phi Mu Alpha president who said to us, ‘This one will last’ was Richard Farrell.”
And so it has. We were married on Palm Sunday, April 18, 1943, with several of my sorority sisters in attendance, and Jim wearing his recently-acquired U.S. Army officer’s uniform.
In April 2003, we’ll be celebrating our sixtieth wedding anniversary, and remembering our happy times together at Illinois Wesleyan. — Submitted by Mary Hartwig Winn ’43 (husband is James Winn ’41)