1963. It was January and my junior year at TCU when he walked into my life. In between working for the Dean of Women like I had since I started at TCU and going to my classes, there was usually a bridge game in progress in the Student Center, and I was always up for playing bridge. I probably had as many if not more male friends in college as girl friends, but that was it so far; they were just friends. Then all of a sudden a mystery man began appearing as a kibitzer at the table when I was playing, and if he could he’d position himself on either side of me to watch me play. My buddies knew him though I’d never seen him before, but I took a liking to him very quickly. He had a great sense of humor, was nice looking and charming, and if I got up from the table to go get food or a coke or cigarettes, he’d jump up and go get them for me. Then one day after class when I came into the Student Center looking to play some bridge before going to work, he and my other male friends were playing pinochle, a game which I had not yet learned how to play. As I voiced that and said I guess I’d go on to work then, he asked me to come sit by him and he’d start teaching me how to play. And so I did and he did over the next few weeks, and then it wasn’t long before we became relatively inseparable, but he still had not asked me out on a date. In addition to playing cards, if I had to study, he would go to the library with me when I needed to study. One day as I was getting up to leave, I asked him if he wanted to come home to dinner with me. Since I didn’t live in the dorms, Mom picked me up every afternoon when my parent’s business closed at 6. Mom was a great cook and James instantly fell in love with her cooking, especially her mashed potatoes. So, soon he was also joining me for dinner several days a week. Then at last in May we began to date. By early June we’d gotten engaged, and on August 17th of 1963, that same summer. we got married. Yes, it was a whirlwind romance which is not always a good idea, and we have had some bumps along the way, but today we are celebrating our 54th wedding anniversary. We were friends back then and we are friends now even though we are both first born children who still lock horns over things from time to time. The biggest problem is that since he is 7 years older than I, James seems to think that allows him to be the “boss of everything.” So I have to remind him frequently that I too have a degree from the same university he does and that I’m a certified educator capable of managing large numbers of students and varied subject matters. It doesn’t change his demeanor much, but what are ya gonna do?!
The young married couple after being joined together, built a life and 9 years later brought a baby girl into the world. She too grew up and got married and now is raising 3 children of her own.
And James and Natalie are growing old together and on their own again.
**Photo at top on left of me was taken by a Polaroid camera. They were convenient and fast but the images didn’t last so well.