A True Love Story!

Hey there!

Well, girls, just for fun I thought that I’d share a true love story that I heard a while back. There are countless versions of this story on the internet, each differing on the minor details, and even the Reader’s Digest had an account of this real-life fairy tale! This narrative my personal favorite! 😉


It was six minutes to six. A tall, broad-shouldered young man tugged impatiently on his hat. As he stood under the clock at the Grand Central Station, Lieutenant John Blanchard tried to control the excited pulsing of his heart. In a few minutes, he would finally meet the woman who had captured his attention 13 months before. 

His mind went back to the day he had first become aware of this woman. In training at the time, John was reading a book and had discovered notes in its margins. The words were wise and insightful and the young man became curious as to who had written them. Flipping to the first few pages, he found that the book had been previously owned by a woman by the name of Miss Hollis Maynell. On a whim, he looked her up in the address book, and to his amazement, her name leaped up from the pages. John wrote to her, respectfully thanking her for the reflective words that she had written, mentioning how they had inspired and refreshed him. The next day, he was shipped out for service in World War Two. He eventually received a response from Hollis, her words just as kind, wise and encouraging as her notes in the book. 

This began a sort of correspondence. Over the next year and a month, as they wrote back and forth, and John found himself growing increasingly interested in this mysterious woman. “How old are you?” he bluntly asked in one of his letters – her reply was equally frank “I am thirty years old.” Well, what did he care? “I’m thirty-two,” he wrote (he was actually 29). Hollis’ letters were bright spots in John’s life, and when he expressed his feelings of fear in the horrors of war, Hollis sent him scripture verses full of courage and peace. As time went on, John found himself falling in love. He sent her photo of himself, but Hollis refused to return the favor – she said that her looks were not relevant to their friendship and she didn’t want her appearance to affect the course of the relationship. John was doubly intrigued. 

When John had finally received a notice of leave, he wrote to Hollis with great expectation,  asking her if she could meet him for dinner at New York. She agreed, naming the location – under the town clock. “You will know me because I will be wearing a red rose,” she told him. 

Two minutes to six. John’s face grew sharp. As if time was cruelly lengthening each second, the hand of the clock slowly inched its way closer to the designated hour. It was finally six o’clock. 

Turning to face the throng of people around him, John’s heart soared. A young woman was heading toward him. Her figure was long and slim. Blonde curls fell back from her delicate ears and her eyes were a bright blue. In a pea green suit, she looked like springtime come alive. 

Instinctively, John made a step towards her. But in his excitement, he failed to notice she wore no rose. The girl smiled impishly as she passed him, “Going my way, soldier?” she murmured. It was at that exact moment, that John saw Hollis Maynell. His heart sank. She was a middle-aged woman with greying hair around her temples and thick ankles thrust into low shoes. Her plump face wore a kindly expression, and her eyes had a gentle twinkle. On her coat lapel, hung a red rose. 

John had a decision before him. Should he follow the blonde beauty, who was rapidly walking away, or face Hollis Maynell? Without hesitation, John gripped the worn volume in his hand, and with a smile, he saluted her, “Hello, I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, you must be Miss Maynell? May I take you out for dinner?” This wouldn’t be love, but perhaps it could be something much more precious, a friendship for which he would be forever grateful. 

The woman before him smiled broadly “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she said, “but you see that young woman in the green suit – the one who just passed by – she begged me to wear this red rose. She said if you asked me to go out with you, I was to tell you that she is waiting for you in that restaurant over there.” She grinned at John’s amazement. “She said it was some kind of test.” 


I’m simply enchanted by this story! What an inspiring picture of a young woman who protected her feminine mystery while reaching out to others with sisterly counsel. She was eager to share life-giving words and she didn’t throw caution to the wind to entwine herself in the life of an unknown, searching, young man. Instead, she encouraged him to press into God’s word and displayed a dignity that deeply impacted me – she didn’t send him some much as a picture! Willing to risk his friendship with a strict test, Hollis knew what real love was made of.

In Christ,





2 thoughts on “A True Love Story!

  1. Leona says:

    This is a beautiful story! I actually read it before, in my literature book for school, if I remember right; however, I think I like this version better. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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