The Day Papa Met Gramma

Editor’s note:  Today is my dad’s birthday, and low and behold he gives ME a present.  This was my favorite story growing up.  I’m so happy to be able to share it with my kids…and all of you!

Oh what a special day !  Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be so special when the day started out.  It was just like every other day:  I got up to go to class at the college I was attending; then I went to work; then I went back home to have dinner and rest for awhile so that I could then go back to college to attend a night class that I had to take.

You see, just a few months before this day I was released from duty with the US Marine Corps and had gone back to college to study business.  But because I got out of the Marines too late to get all the classes I needed I had to take a class in US History at night.   My sister, Sharon, had agreed to take the class with me, since she was trying to get her college education too.

Being a young man of only 23 years, and not married, I would flirt with all the girls in class, trying to get to know them, and asking them out on dates.  This particular night I was sitting in the first seat at the head of a row of desks waiting for the teacher to come in and start teaching.  My sister was sitting in the first seat on the row of desks next to mine so I was turned sideways talking to her when I noticed this blond girl sitting behind her.  At first I started to speak to the blond girl, but then I noticed sitting behind me another girl.  So I turned all the way around and just looked at her right in the eyes…and she just stared right back at me in my eyes.  I didn’t say anything and neither did she but we just kept staring at each other.

Pretty soon the teacher came in and started to teach, but there I sat with my back to him, staring into that girl’s eyes.  We must have stared at each other for 5 or 10 minutes (at least it seemed like it to me), all the while the teacher just kept on talking.  Of course I didn’t have any idea what he was saying because I was so focused on that girl behind me.

When our class took a break for a few minutes, I went outside and right up to that girl I had been staring at.  The night before this my dad had given me a couple of tickets to an Elvis Presley concert (he was a famous singer that most girls loved back in those days).  So I thought this girl would be eager to out with me to hear him sing.  But the girl told me, “NO , thanks. I don’t like Elvis Presley at all !”  Wow. I didn’t know what to say because I had been so sure she would jump at the chance to go.  So I just found out where she worked during the day that her name was Kathy.  Then the class started again and we didn’t speak any more that night.

However, the next day I just couldn’t get Kathy out of my mind.  All through breakfast, then driving to college to go to class, and all during the classes I took my mind kept coming back to Kathy.  As I was driving home from class I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go by and see if I can find where she works.”  And I did.  Then just as I was going to pass her office I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go in and see if she’s there today.”  And I did.

When I walked in the door there she sat behind the counter talking on the phone.  So I just sat down to wait.  Soon she hung up the phone and said, “Oh, Hi!  May I help you?”

Well, I hadn’t thought ahead of what I might say to her, so, with a smile on my face, I made up the first thing that came into my head.

“Yes,” I said, “As you know I’m taking business classes at the college and I’m doing some research for one of them.  I’m surveying all the secretaries in town to see if their employers give them time off for lunch.  Does yours?”

“Uhhhhh,  yeeessss, “ Kathy said a little suspiciously.

“And how much time does he give you for lunch?”  I asked

“Uhhhhh, 30 minutes” she said even more suspiciously.

“And what time does your lunch hour start?”  I asked innocently, but with an even bigger smile.

“11:30” replied Kathy.

“Fine I’ll be back to pick you up then.” I said now grinning.  Then before she could say Yes or No I turned and walked out, got in my car, and drove off.

I had no idea whether she would go with me when I came back, or whether she would even be there.  But I came back at 11:30 and, to my great delight, she was ready and willing to have lunch with me.  We went to Love’s restaurant, where I first asked her, “What is your last name anyway?”  and where we talked and talked, AND where we made plans to go out in the evening.

Well, we saw each other practically every day after that for weeks on end.  And a couple of months later we decided to get married.  And, as I am  writing this, we have been married for 39 wonderful years, have had two beautiful children that we named David and Deborah, and five marvelous grandchildren named Katie, Josh, Ellie, Scott, and Luz.

We are sooooooo blessed !!!

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