“Two things I felt sure of: first, that Ruth was bound to get married someday; and second, that I was the man she would marry,” Billy Graham said, reflecting back on his journey of meeting and courting Ruth Bell in his autobiography Just As I Am. He was certain that it was love at first sight!
Displayed in the Library’s “Footprints of a Pilgrim” gallery is Ruth and Billy’s honeymoon scrapbook. Featured in the scrapbook is a section entitled “The Wedding Journey,” which includes mementos from their honeymoon in the mountains of North Carolina. Billy recalls, “For a wedding present, my father had already given me $50. I had $25 of my own saved up. That meant I had $75 to pay for a honeymoon and get us back to Chicago.”
On one page of the scrapbook, Ruth shares a cereal box clipping along with a note of their first breakfast as newlyweds that was complete with orange juice, toast, cereal, and coffee. The two shared their breakfast at the Battery Park Hotel in Asheville, NC.
Ruth also saved a little packet of wedding rice that was thrown as they left their wedding reception with a note that reads, “Wedding rice. Suitcase full. Car full. Mouths full.” At the end of one their stays in a quaint a bed and breakfast, Billy shares, “Ruth confided in the lady of the house that we were on our honeymoon.” The lady of the house said “Yes, I know. I’ve been sweeping up the rice every day.”
Ruth added some decorative leaves and wrote, “From the trail to my hair to here.” Also included is a leaflet and stamps from one of their hotels, the Daniel Boone Hotel. On the last day of their trip, Ruth wrote, “Ran out of money so left Thursday after lunch for Charlotte…Drove out to Brown Mt. beach for swim. White PJ’s. Lovely room. Why is it everybody knows you’re honeymooners whether you show it or not?”