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Top Ten Most Romantic Betsy Ray-Joe Willard Moments
January 8, 2013

I love Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy-Tib series so much more than any other series I've ever read that I even once cajoled my mom into "steal" one of the books for me. As I have reread the entire collection every year since I was ten, I feel qualified to give you the top ten moments between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard that still manage to make my heart thump and get me to come over all swoon-y. (Sidebar: I could never quite forgive Joe for growing a mustache, simply because my dad has a mustache and mustaches belong on fathers, not beaux.)

What are your top Betsy-Joe moments? Tell me on Twitter: @grubreport.

10. Joe Willard, a Philomathian, being extremely indignant that Betsy Ray wasn't chosen by the Zetamathians to compete against him in the Essay Contest WHILE HE WAS STILL GOING WITH CRABBY PHYLLIS BRANDISH. (Betsy Was a Junior)

9. Joe Willard offering to walk Betsy Ray home from the library to discuss their Essay Contest subject, "The Philippines: Their Present and Future Value." (Heaven to Betsy)

8. Betsy Ray seeing Joe Willard at Butternut Center (Betsy and Joe)

7. Betsy Ray seeing Joe Willard at Butternut Center (Heaven to Betsy)

6. Joe Willard and Betsy Ray rushing into each other's arms after she got off the S.S. Richmond: "He was holding her close and saying over and over, 'Oh, Betsy! Betsy!' And Besty, when she could lift her tear-wet face from where it was crushed into his wooly shoulder tried to sayin 'Joe! Joe!' but she couldn't because he was kidding her and she was kissing him." (It's as close to a sex scene as Maud Hart Lovelace is going to give us.) (Betsy's Wedding)

5. Joe Willard writing to Betsy Ray from North Dakota and ending the letter, "If you answer, as a well-bred young lady is sure to do (and besides I know you go wild at the sight of a pencil), address me here. Sincerely, Joe." (Betsy and Joe)

4. Joe Willard taking on nasty ol' Mr. Gaston and the subject of "rosy apple blossoms" in defense of Betsy Ray and THEN shrugging off when she thanks him. (Oh, the chase! The intoxicating chase!) (Heaven to Betsy)

3. Joe Willard dropping crabby Phyllis Brandish off at home then coming back to claim his dance with Betsy Ray at the Junior-Senior Banquet. (Betsy Was a Junior)

2. Postcard from Joe Willard to Betsy Ray: "Did anyone ever tell you that you're a good dancer?" (Betsy Was a Junior)

1. London Times Agony Column posting from Joe Willard to Betsy Ray: "Betsy. The Great War is on but I hope ours is over. Please come home. Joe." (Betsy and the Great World)




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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic