In 1931, the high school students from Levering, six miles north of Pellston, were moved to Pellston High School and the Levering High School was closed. There were several new students in Pellston, and one was Ruth E. Cooper, a petite girl with light-colored curly hair. She was a junior, and Carl Shorter fell in love with her. Carl was a senior that year, and he played basketball and was the class president. He also had a job at a pharmacy in downtown Pellston.
While courting Ruth, Carl would walk to Levering from his home in Pellston. Ruth had several siblings, and times were really tough for her and her family in Levering. Carl would fill his pockets with oranges and other treats for the siblings and Ruth. One time, the oranges froze and turned black from the cold. For a brief time, Ruth broke up with Carl to date someone else. Her siblings refused to talk to her until she and Carl started dating again!
Since Pellston recorded the State of Michigan’s record low temperature, a frigid -53o F. back in 1933, it has been unofficially known as the “ICEBOX”. With temperatures in Pellston well below zero for an average of around 40 days each winter, and beginning each November averaging the coldest temperatures in the state, it’s no wonder those oranges froze! Imagine that cold walk to and from Levering…
Carl went to Cheboygan County to procure the marriage license, on Ruth’s 18th birthday, November 1, 1934. Carl took his baby brother, Robert, with him that day & bribed him with a candy bar to keep him from talking about getting the license! The license was Carl’s birthday gift to Ruth .
Carl and Ruth were married, but kept it a secret from everyone for several months. They did this in order to both keep their jobs during the Great Depression, when only one job was allowed per couple.