"Courtship is the traditional dating period before engagement and marriage. During a courtship, a couple dates to get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement. Usually courtship is a public affair, done in public and with family approval.
It includes activities such as dating where couple go together for a meal, a movie, dance parties, a picnic, shopping or general "hanging out", along with other forms of activity. Acts such as meeting on the Internet or virtual dating, chatting on-line, sending text messages or picture messages, conversing over the telephone, VoIP, instant messaging and the like, writing each other letters or e-mails, and sending each other flowers, songs, and gifts constitute wooing."...
I don't think Wikipedia was around when Ralph Gregory courted.
"Boys and Girls" from Ralph Gregory's book mentioned above.
"When I was a little boy I noticed the big boys interested in girls came to the homes of the girls. Usually the girl's family knew who he was and knew his family. Sometimes the young man was invited to supper. He and his girl of interest would visit in the parlor or outside in a swing or ont he porch steps. Ocasionally they got some privacy by sitting in the buggy he came in. The youth would sometimes stay all evening and join in several games of cards. He could not take off with the girl in his buggy........
In the search for girls, the boys in town had an advantage over the boys on farms. Girls were nearer for boys in town and they had some use of the telephone. They could easily walk to their dates in town. A boy in the country had a long walk, horse or buggy ride to get to the girl he wanted to visit, unless she was on a neighboring farm. The farm boy was often to tired for that.
I recall the old saying that went something like this: ""Behind the plow and going hence, saps the zest for romance"". So the farm boy usually did his courting on Sundays. Sometimes it began with taking a girl home from church. If the girls home was in town and her parents were not walking behind he could take the long way home or walk to some scenic point and back. ...........
The extreme difficulty of courtship for a farm boy is well represented in what Fred Parde told me of his days courting. When the century was new, Fred Parde of Clover Bottom needed to visit his girl in Warren county. His only buggy horse was a female that had recently foaled. He could not leave the little horse that was nursing the mare at home. So he let the little one walk along beside its mother. It went the ten miles to Washington, went across the Missouri river on the ferryboat and more miles to the farm of his girl's folks. Fred stayed several days and then the three made the long trip home."
The rituals of courtship have changed but the determination of two young persons in love are still guided by the heart rather than the mind...even today!