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Bridge & Humor: The Culbertson Bid For Wife

The Milwaukee Journal – Jan 30, 1946

The Culbertsons
The Culbertsons

During a trip to Italy when still a young man bridge expert Ely Culbertson got into a discussion about  matrimony.

«Most people choose their lifelong mates haphazardly. But not me,» boasted Culbertson. I’ve made a mental list of the virtues I want in a wife and I’m determined to marry such a girl.»

«Even if such dream person exists. How do you expect to meet her?» asked his companion.

«Scientific approach,» chuckled Culbertson triumphantly. A newspaper ad, listing, exact qualifications, such as age, measurements, personality should do the trick.»

» I suppose,» taunted the other. Your ad will read: ‘Wanted, one wife. Must have following qualifications.

«I can be more subtle by advertising for a model and then try to win her.

Culbertson did precisely that and received several hundred replies.

To each applicant he wrote a note arranging to meet her on a certain street at a designated time. He could be recognized by a white flower in his lapel. Naturally he staggered the time so that no two applicants would meet. 

Unfortunately Culbertson’s scientific wife hunt was a failure for he never finished interviewing all the
 applicants. Since these strange street corner goings-on took place during the last war, Culbertson was regarded with suspicion by the p0lice and requested to leave Italy.

He later married in the United States meeting his wife in the usual haphazard but conventional manner through a formal introduction.

They were divorced some years ago.


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