On an episode of her podcast, Joanna Gaines revealed her mom, Nan Stevens, and dad, Jerry Stevens, met each other at a “pot party” in the ’70s.
Though Nan’s Korean parents instructed her not to get mixed up in American culture, she ended up at that fateful get-together where her friend heard there might be some “good stuff.” But instead, she found a soldier from the U.S. who caught her eye and eventually asked for her hand.
Joanna Gaines’ mom grew up in South Korea
On Joanna’s podcast, The Stories We Tell, also the name of her most recent book, she invited Nan to talk about growing up in South Korea and moving to America. And she shared that she became interested in American culture early in life, though her family forbade her from mimicking it.
Secretly, she wore blue jeans and polo shirts with her friends, which was not allowed. They’d also listen to rock and roll music, like the Beatles. “That’s how I got in trouble,” Nan confessed, explaining her mom would punish her when she found out she’d been dancing at a friend’s house.
Joanna Gaines revealed her parents met at a ‘pot party’
Joanna asked Nan to discuss meeting Jerry on her podcast. And her mom hesitated to say it was at a “pot party” where she heard there might be some “good stuff” that she met her future husband.
But she found something arguably better in a long-haired U.S. soldier that wore “John Lennon glasses” and stood out among the crowd. While everyone else talked, he was “just chilling out,” Nan said.
“He had the good stuff,” Joanna joked, and Nan seemed to agree. She said she told her friend at the party, “I’m going to marry that guy.”
Joanna Gaines said her parents had a rough start to marriage because her dad was ‘into drugs’ after the ’pot party’
Nan and Jerry exchanged letters for about six months after falling in love in the months before he went home. Then, he asked her to marry him in the U.S., including the plane ticket she needed for travel in his letter.
Eventually, Nan said yes, much to the disappointment of her parents. She felt they sent her away in shame, not to let her be happy. But, whatever the case, she left her home for a new life.
“I can’t imagine the idea of a 19-year-old little girl getting on a plane, flying to America,” Joanna told her mom (People).
“Dad picks you up in his VW Bug in San Francisco. You get married on the courthouse steps in your cutoff jean shorts, tank top, all the things,” she said. “You drive all the way from there to Wichita to start your life.”
Joanna added that her parents’ first year of marriage was “rough because [her] dad was into drugs.” Fortunately, they made it through the rocky start, eventually had three daughters, and are still together.