Georgetown couple’s story began with a letter
Marian Cockrum barely knew her future husband when they were both students, separated by a year, in Georgetown’s 2A high school. Bradley Cockrum was a jock who played football and baseball, and Marian marched in the band. “He was a country boy. I was a city girl. We really didn’t have a lot in common.”
They did have mutual friends, however. “All my friends knew him and liked him. We used to ride around Georgetown looking for Bradley Cockrum at the old Dairy Queen, where Dos Salsas is now, and then we’d ride from there to the park to Dairy Hill, where Papa John’s is,” Marian recalls.
“Back then we didn’t have cell phones, so we used to ride around, looking for people. That’s what it’s called,” she says with a smile, “‘ridin’ ’round.’ But we never did find him.”
Bradley graduated from high school and went to study agriculture business at Tarleton State University while Marian was still a senior at Williams, Georgetown’s first high school.
Then one day, out of the blue, she received a letter from Bradley. “Maybe we can go out sometime,” he wrote.
“I knew who he was, but we didn’t really know each other at the time,” says Marian, who remembers thinking, “He’s got his pick of the college girls! Why is he writing me?”
Their first date was to the Little River car races. “It’s like a country version of F1,” laughs Marian. “No, I don’t think it even compares—Georgetown was so rural back then!”
After their initial date, Marian and Bradley went on dates each time they came home from college. “We would meet at home and go out, yet we had our own separate lives when we were in college,” says Marion. “I think that it was very lucky that we didn’t go to the same college. I probably would have gotten mad at him!” she says, laughing. “But we were one of those couples who were really good friends for a long time.”
On June 9th, 1979, a few months after Marian graduated from Mary Hardin Baylor, the couple married.
“Later on,” Marion remembers, “I asked him, ‘Why did you write me that letter? You had all of those college girls!’ And he goes, ‘Well, I knew you were somebody really special.’”
By Rachel Brownlow
Photos by Shelley Dormont