Our Story, #2

If you want to see the first piece, you can find it under Categories on the right side of the page. Look for “Our Story-50 Years.” As I continue, you’ll need to read from the bottom up.

I spent some time in my oldest photo album this morning. Remember those? Paper photos taken with old-fashioned cameras, placed in a big album and held in place by a saran-wrap-type of overlay. Boy, are they OLD! There are a few college pics in there, but that’s not really where the story starts, so I didn’t use those. Thanks to today’s technology, I took pictures of my pictures with my phone, dowloaded them to my Facebook (only I can see them there) and will post them here as I continue the story. Amazing, right?

The first thing I need to do today is back up a little bit. I actually met Terry early in my junior year, but there wasn’t a lot of contact until later. Time has a way of playing tricks with our memories, and mine is getting a little wobbly anyway!

It was during Christmas break in late 1967 that things began to become more interesting. Terry had become a Christian by then, and was attending church regularly. Oddly, I seemed to be finding reasons to make the trek from Owatonna, MN to White Beat Lake a little more frequently. My dad pastored there, and he’d asked me to be available whenever possible to fill in as a Sunday school teacher, play piano, or whatever else needed doing. I was glad to oblige. It wasn’t until well into January of 1968 that I began to realize he had an ulterior motive.

Dad had suggested I go to the youth group Christmas party. Uhhhhhh, well, I guess. . . . .didn’t really want to, but he was a hard guy to argue with. So I went.

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That’s me at the bottom of the stairs. I don’t look too thrilled to be there, do I? But then Terry showed up, delivering more kids, and that’s when the light began to dawn that my dad had a plan. Terry offered to take me home, and the kids he had brought all piled into the back seat. The first real conversation we had was that night, accompanied by the noise of a lot of kids high on sugar.

During that same vacation, I was comfy at home in my ugly plaid pants and a sweatshirt. My hair was in big fat curlers, my head encased in the plastic hood of my portable hair dryer. You girls today have no clue how hard we worked for decent-looking hair 50+ years ago!

The doorbell rang. I didn’t hear it. My dad waved his hand at me. He was in his easy chair, reading the newspaper. I turned off my dryer, and he asked me to get the door. Okay.

I opened the door, in my plastichoodshabbypantscurlers, and there stood Terry. Yikes. “Linda, is that Terry? I told him to stop by in case there were any stragglers who needed a ride to the youth activity at the gym. Looks like you’e the only one.”

WHAT? I’d had no intention of going! I’m not a youthgrouper any more!

“Come on in, Terry. Linda will be just a couple minutes getting ready.”

I was so astonished I could hardly think what to do. My dad had NEVER, EVER set me up with any guy. And I realized that this was exactly what was happening. Unbelievable. I was mad, embarrassed, shocked—and he just sat there reading his paper without giving me a second glance.

I had no choice, without making Terry extremely uncomfortable, so I yanked the curlers out, brushed out my hair, changed into a nicer pair of pants, and threw on a jacket.

“Okay, I’m ready.” Terry’s car was warm, a beautiful 1964 GTO. Nicest car I’d ever ridden in. He seemed to know where to go, and we had a pleasant–if a little stiff–conversation. He pulled into the parking lot at the local high school, which was built in big circular sections around a central core. The first door we tried was locked. We jogged around that circle to the next door. Locked. And again, locked. Once more, and we finally found the door where the party was. In the process, we got the giggles and were laughing like loons.

Once we got inside, it seemed as if every single person in the gym stopped what they were doing and stared at us. I wanted to disappear. But the moment passed, and before long we were playing volleyball with the kids.

I was pretty good at volleyball, and Terry made his first joke about my lack of height. Something about walking under the net instead of hitting the ball over the net. He’s never stopped.

We had a good time. Lots of fun, and I was sorry to see the evening come to an end. My dad, still involved in his newspaper when we got home, lowered it long enough to thank Terry for picking me up and bringing me home.

After Terry left, I said, “You did that on purpose!” The paper shook just for a second, and he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Right. Actually, I think Terry was the only guy I ever dated who had my dad’s 100% approval 🙂

This is what Terry looked like the next morning in church. His dad took this photo sometime during that year. Terry wore contacts then, and he had very intense blue/grey eyes, sometimes green, depending on what he was wearing. My handsome guy.

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Stay tuned. Lots more coming.