The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Feb. 17, 1946, Omaha World-Herald - Nebraska Scene

A War Bride Comes Home

Cedar Bluffs Opens Its Heart to British Girl
By Lawrence Youngman
No Fireplace to sit beside, No subways.
Automobiles traveling on the right side of the streets.
House of wood instead of stone and concrete.
Vast landscapes without a single hedge.
Many new in-laws to meet.
No husband waiting at the depot.

It was a strange new world in which the the former Doreen Hopkins, daughter of a retired London policeman, found herself this past week.

In London, she had met and married Leonard Knutzen of Cedar Bluffs, Neb. He returned to the States last July.

Mrs. Knutzen and their 10 month-old daughter, Sandra, arrived in New York aboard the Queen Mary last week.

Mrs. Knutzen’s introduction to Nebraska got off to a bad start. She had expected her husband to meet her at the depot in Fremont at 11:10 a. m. Wednesday. But he thought she would arrive at 1:35. In con… of this misunderstanding she had been at the home of his parents Mr. and Mrs. Albert Knutzen for almost three hours before their were reunited.

The warm and sincere reception on the part of her Nebraska relatives helped made up for her disappointment at not seeing her husband immediately.

There are sight Knutzen children and all but one live at home. At noon the youngest children came bursting in from school. The two small girls Mardell, 9, and Kathleen, 12, simply took over Sandra.

During the noon hour half a dozen other school children came in to see Sandra.

Leonard’s grandmother, Mrs. Henry Knutzen lost no time in trotting her new granddaughter up the block to her own home to show her the wedding gift she had made a Little Basket quilt. No welcome was warmer than Grandma’s. She had cried half the morning.

Finally Leonard called from Fremont and said his wife had not been on the train. Grandma told him she was already in Cedar Bluffs.

Never a word was spoken as Leonard and his wife rushed into each other’s arms. But there were tears in the eyes of each.

Afterward, Leonard took her “downtown” to Cedar Bluffs’ main street. He said it was “Piccadilly Circus” – but only on Saturday night when the farmers came to town. Then he introduced her to some of the townspeople – Postmaster William F. Hund., Mrs. L. A. Schere, wife of the grocer and others.

Mrs. Knutzen thought Cedar Bluffs was quite a change from England – but she said she thought she was going to like it.

“The county between Omaha and Fremont is the prettiest I have seen in the United States,” she said. “It’s more like England. “Cedar Bluffs is quite a surprise to me I thought it might be just a couple of houses in a field. But I find it’s a town of five hundred people.”

Right now Leonard is working for a transfer company at Cedar Bluffs. He wanted to discuss possibilities with his wife before making any definite plans. But he thinks he may renott in the agricultural course at the University of Nebraska next fall.

[ many pictures were included in this article]

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