Part 4: First comes love, then comes marriage (1949 - 1963)
Ala was living in colonial Livingstone with her mom in a cottage and Lolly, being a horrible cook, invited himself over fairly often to have home cooked meals. Eventually one evening he produced a ring to make the engagement official and Ala was over the moon. Weekend picnics kept their social life busy and they soon added to their fleet of cars to grow the business.
Ala became aware that her tumultuous upbringing didn’t afford her teenage normalcy and her appetite for travelling was far from quenched. As a last bit of freedom she went to visit a friend in Northern Rhodesia where they cruised on Lake Tanganyika and later travelled all the way up to Dar Es Salaam. She met the most wonderfully interesting people on her travels and for the first time in a long time felt independence. The new found freedom was the reason why Ala and Lolly’s engagement lasted a very long time. Settling down soon was not in the cards.
Too many exciting times to mention was to follow. From having tame leopards who scared ladies at their tea parties to A-list movie stars partying up a storm when off from filming. They were fortunate enough to help out on the movie sets. Ala the caterer, her brother, Janusz the movie double and Lolly the animal handler.
After 7 years of being engaged and fun times, Ala & Lolly decided to tie the knot. The wedding plans were not without drama…the in-laws expressed their disapproval for Ala being a Catholic girl, Lolly got appendicitis and then a horrible infection after his operation. Their friends and family (all 350 of them) didn’t think this wedding to be a likely event. However, they soldiered on and everyone helped with the preparations and cooking. There were no wedding planners in those days, they were tasked with the job themselves.
The wedding was a big hit. Ala looked spectacular in her white dress and bouquet of white lilies next to handsome Lolly when they spoke their vows. Even though Lolly was still a bit eina (sore) from his operation, Ala had loads of fun dancing and enjoying the wedding party.
The honeymoon included friends from the wedding party as they travelled to Bulawayo and then down to Cape Town. It was more memorable for Ala as Lolly still struggled healing from his infection.
Back home it was evident that this couple was very well loved by friends who travelled as far as Botswana for visits. Every lunch or dinner was filled with adoring guests wanting to spend time with them. To Ala & Lolly, friends were the richest treasures on this earth and this was a truth till their old days. Even now friends will attest to their warm hospitality and ability to make people feel at home.
The next step was to start a family of their own.
To be continued…