A Little Light Romance

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I have been filling in some of the blanks for my cousins families in preparation for my next trip north. In the process I found a little romantic mystery surrounding my aunt on my mother’s side.


Salananca Republican-Press, November 15, 1945


Veteran Asks Press to Help Him Locate Salamanca Girl He Fell For


A “strange request” for assistance has been received by the Salamanca Press from a former member of the U. S. coast guard, who apparently fell in love with a Salamanca beauty at first sight, but neglected to find out her last name or where she lives.


Not that he’s discharged, the former serviceman, Charles W. Maynard, 75 Rosedale avenue, Freeport, Long Island, is trying to locate the girl with whom he rode from this city to Olean while hitch-hiking to New York City only a little more than a week ago.


The letter from Mr. Maynard, who says he served six years in the coast guard, follows;


“This may be a strange request, I know, but I do hope you can help me. I am a veteran just recently discharged after serving six years with the U. S. coast guard.


“I am trying to locate a girl that lives in Salamanca. She is about seventeen years of age and very good looking with brunette hair. But first, let me tell you the circumstances which led up to my meeting her.


“On the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 5, I was hitchhiking to New York City and was picked up in a LaSalle sedan, painted black, by a man named William, and a woman. They were going to Olean. But before going to Olean, we stopped at a house just a block or two off highway ‘17’ near the east side of Salamanca. At this house, he picked up a woman and her daughter, and they we got underway for Olean.


“Just at the outskirts of Olean, the car had a flat tire. The daughter, I spoke of, was named Dorothy. She was wearing a red sweater, grey skirt, and a black coat.


“I was wearing a grey ‘chiefs’ uniform and a black topcoat. Perhaps this girl will remember those incidents. She is the first girl I’ve met in a long time that I liked very much at first sight.


“I’ve read from time to time where various newspapers have helped people locate others just as I am trying to do now. I certainly hope that you can help me.


“She seems like a swell girl and I would like to see her again, very much.”


Two days later the answer to the letter from the soldier would be found once again in the paper. The city had been humming about the mystery “Dorothy” written about in the paper.

Salamanca Republican-Press,  November 17, 1945


16-Year-Old High School Girl Is “Dorothy” Sought by Veteran


The mystery is solved. The ‘Dorothy” most everyone in the city has been talking about for two days has been found.


She is Miss Dorothy Shinners, sixteen-year-old daughter of Mrs. Louise Shinners, 24 Pine Street.


Her identity was learned late Friday afternoon after the Press received a “tip” by telephone.


In an interview Dorothy related additional details of her recent ride from this city to Olean in a sedan with a hitch-hiking serviceman, who later asked the Press to help him locate the young comely miss whom he “liked very much” because he knew neither her last name nor her address.


Miss Shinners, a junior in high school, said she was “amazed to see the story about her in the Press Wednesday evening.”


Dorothy said she and her mother were accompanying her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. William Moran, Fawn Avenue, to Olean. When they got in the car the young coastguardsman, Charles W. Maynard, 95 Rosedale Avenue, Freeport, Long Island already was there.


The attractive looking high school girl, five feet, six inches tall, said that during the ride to Olean, the young veteran barely spoke to her.


“In fact,” she said, “the only time he talked was when I asked him where he was stationed, and how long he had been in service.”


“He showed so little interest at the time,” said Dorothy, “that I can hardly believe all this is true.”


Dorothy described the veteran as having dark hair and as about four inches taller than she. She said he was an intelligent looking fellow, about twenty-five years old, and was wearing the dress uniform of a chief petty officer.


The former service man, who was catching a train at Olean for New York City, offered to help fix the tire which went flat on the outskirts of Olean. When Mr. Moran said he could fix it himself, the veteran thanked them and left.


Miss Shinners, who has naturally curly light brunette hair, said her classmates teased he continually Friday, when they learned she was the sought-for “Dorothy.” She disclosed that if the discharged veteran wrote to her she would be willing to correspond with him.


When asked what she planned to do when she finished high school, Dorothy replied she wanted to enter nurses training at the Moyer Memorial Hospital in Buffalo. At present she is active in all sports, her favorite being “basketball.” She likes to dance, but “best of all square dancing.”


Dorothy has a brother in service, Pfc. William Shinners with the 30th infantry in Wisehouse, Germany. She has two brothers, Donald, seventeen and Jerry, six. Her father William Shinners, died five years ago.


I don’t know yet if she ever communicated with the serviceman, it will definitely be something that I will need to ask her about when I see her. I do know that she followed her dream and went into nursing and eventually married my uncle. She was the one person mom would call when she needed medical advice.


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