He Came Back to Take the Plunge

        by Harold "Smitty" Smith, '44

I enrolled in Park College in Parkville in the fall of 1940.  My roommate in the dormitory was Hank Llewellyn.

This was a work-study college at the time, and Hank and I had jobs in lieu of tuition--we were plumbers.

Our jobs were to repair plumbing facilities on campus.  We worked 15 hours a week as plumbers and attended classes 15 hours a week, too.

Hank and I were not the best of plumbers--neither of us had done this kind of work before.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was on December 7, 1941, during our sophomore year.  The next day most of the men students went to Kansas City to enlist in the military.

Hank went into the Navy, taking flight training in Iowa.  He graduated as an ensign.

Early in March 1943, Hank came back to marry his college sweetheart, Ruth Holden, in the college chapel.  I served as best man.  It would have been traditional for the bride and groom to pass between two rows of soldiers holding crossed swords, forming a canopy.

When Hank and his bride exited the Park College chapel, they walked between two lines of people saluting with--not sabers--but plungers!


Graham Tyler Chapel



Henry "Hank" ('44) and
 Ruth Holden ('45) Llewellyn
cross under their special canopy
during their wedding ceremony
in March 1943.

Ruth Holden Llewellyn, '45

Henry Llewellyn, '44

Harold Smith, '44