Monday, September 24, 2012


He inherited a car from His grandmother. A "Nile Green"1951 Plymouth Cranbrook. It had a 217 cid flat pushing engine with a three-speed manual transmission (maintaining an impressive presence at NASCAR through 1952), and weighing in at about 3,400 pounds.

It was in pristine condition. His grandmother had purchased it brand new, but it had been sitting in her garage un-driven for about 10 years. He spent all his free time getting it in purring. He wanted to paint it. I'm not sure why, I guess to make it "cooler". We had only been dating a few months, but he showed up one day with a color chart, and asked me to choose a color. That was a lot of pressure to put on a young girl's shoulders. I told Him I did not want to make such an important (and lasting), decision, but He insisted that He really, really, really trusted my opinion.

"Cadillac, Light Blue Firemist, GM WA4900". What other color would a self respecting 16 year old girl choose? Well, He painted it "Light Blue Firemist GM W4900", and His friends nicknamed it the "Blue Bomb". Looking back there were sooooooo many classier options to choose from, but He loved that car, and He loved the color.

That light blue firemist Plymouth drove Him through high school, took Him to college, got Him to His first full-time job, and was still around four children later. Top speed on the freeway was 50 mph. It's not with us anymore. He gave it away a few years ago - hoping someone would love it as much as He did - and maybe bring a girl a color chart - and ask her to make a decision that would color the rest of their lives.

He trusted... more reason I love Him.

Monday, September 17, 2012


We were in a crowd somewhere. It was some kind of festival, and we had stayed until the end. It didn't feel dangerous, but it was intense. We were being jostled as we tried to make our way to the car. Without saying anything He took my right hand in His left, bent His arm at the elbow, and placed it in the small of His back. This action effectively put me securely behind Him. I looked down His back at our hands as we moved in tandem. We were so close I had to take little steps as He pushed through the crowd. Suddenly, I felt the air clear as He swung His arm back, and we were walking side by side again, my hand in His.

I didn't analyze what He had done at the time, I just remember feeling safe. It seemed like His action was instinctive. I didn't feel that He was being presumptuous or patronizing, rather, He seemed gallant. The gesture was both gentlemanly, and heroic. He made me feel that I inspired such chivalrous behavior in Him.

This became our pattern for moving through groups of people of any size. Later, if His arms were full, He put my finger in His back belt loop, and I just followed, trusting I would emerge safe and sound. Although His reaction to unforeseen dangers seemed simplistic, the implication was profound. From that point forward I have always felt safe when I am with Him. It has left me with the assurity that I am always looked after - even when He isn't there.

He protected... more reason I love Him.  

Monday, September 10, 2012


He seemed so earnest when He asked me out for the next weekend that I decided I would give Him a second chance. Of course it was another double date with our friends, this time to the movies. We saw Foul Play. Whatever you might say about this Hitchcock homage, the comedy/thriller offered a funny Chevy Chase, a charming Goldie Hawn, and a PG rating - in other words, a perfect date movie. However, it was the third, not the second date that hooked me. As the second date was not an altogether flop He asked me out again for the next weekend - this time to his grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. I can't imagine what He was thinking.

The date is pretty much a blur. I remember only three things: double date again; I wore a homemade  silver Qiana, cowl neck dress, (you had to be from the time to know the cool factor of this fabric); and He kissed me goodnight. It wasn't the kiss that snagged me, it was how He got it.

He seemed massive to me. He was 6'1" and 195 lbs. I was 5'4" and half his weight. He almost swaggered, carrying himself in an arrogant manner, like He knew He could handle himself. I was not impressed, rather, I was a little put off. I had assumed from His demeanor, and comments from the peanut gallery, that He was cocky. Although I was 16, I knew how to put a boy in his place, and I was prepared to do just that.

Returning home from our "meet his family fest" He walked me to my front door. My parents had left all the lights blaring for my benefit. At the door He asked if He could come in for a minute. Our friends were waiting in the car so I knew He wouldn't stay very long. Inside the foyer, under the chandelier, with His hands in His pants pockets He whispered: "would you mind if I kissed you goodnight?". Completely taken aback by His self-conscious and bashful query, I think I just said "okay". With his hands still in his pockets He leaned down and timidly kissed me very softly on the lips. It was surprising...and sweet. I had already battled a few eager gropers, and I was completely caught off guard by His sincerity. I had misjudged His character by his appearance. For the first time I thought that there was more to this boy than meets the eye, and I wanted to see what it was.

He asked... more reason I love Him.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Homecoming bonfire. It sounded like the quintessential clich├ęd high school set-up. My friend told me that her boyfriend's friend wanted to go out with me and they wanted to set us up because it would be so fun to double date. I was reluctant.

I didn't know Him, but I knew who He was. He wasn't "my type". I'm not sure what my type was at sixteen, but I didn't think it was a "dumb jock". He looked kind of thuggish. Beefy neck, unruly dark hair, big brow...brutish. Under the influence of teenage wisdom I assessed Him based on his appearance. Initially I said no, but my friend begged.

The plan was for the girls to meet the boys at the bonfire. Well...He didn't show. After an hour, the boyfriend appears and explains that we need to pick Him up at his house. Something felt off. Once at His house the boyfriend went inside to retrieve my date. I wanted to go home. I was so embarrassed. I knew my scheming friend had mislead me. I sat in the car humiliated, while inside the boyfriend convinced Him to go out with me.

Twenty minutes later. He gets in the car beside me wearing a dirty, old, 10 gallon Stetson, a fleece lined denim jacket, and stares straight ahead. A hat and a coat on a warm September evening? How could I be any more impressed? The best is yet to come. Yes, we went to McDonalds. I waited for Him to order so I could take my clue as to what I should order. A small root beer. Well then... I ordered a small orange soda. We sat in awkward silence while our friends, eating their meal, tried to engage us in conversation. He looked at his cup the whole painful time. Thankfully, they dropped me home first. He walked me to the door, said "goodnight", turned and left.

I dreaded the next day at school, and the next. Thankfully I never ran into Him. It was odd. Our school was too small to not catch any glimpse of Him for two days. He wasn't at school. He had come down with the flu the afternoon of the bonfire. He went home during school and collapsed in bed. The boyfriend got Him out of bed that night with a 102 temperature, sweating like a pig, and barely able to stand. Later, I asked Him why he even came? He said he was afraid that it might be His only opportunity to go out with me.

He came... more reason I love Him.