It was the fall of 1967, one of the most exciting times of my life to that point. I had graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in the spring, and was now a freshman at Abilene Christian College, in Texas.
The only other person I knew in Abilene was a sophomore student (male), whom I will refer to as "R." R was from Sitka, Alaska. We had become friends, during our high school years, through some youth events that had been sponsored by the Juneau church. Whenever R came to Juneau, we spent a lot of time together. But for the vast majority of the time, when we were separated by 95 air miles or 150 water miles, we maintained our friendship through letter-writing. After a time, I realized that I was a lot more comfortable with, and fond of, R when we were apart than when we were together. Apparently, though, R didn't feel the same way. When I got to Abilene, I kept meeting returning students who would say, "Oh! You're the Linda, from Alaska, who's engaged to R!" That came as a surprise to me! I wondered when, and how, I had missed the marriage proposal. Those comments struck terror in my heart, and brought R's and my friendship to a screeching halt.
Not long after that, I got a telephone call from Dan. He wanted to know if I would like to have dinner together sometime soon. (What he called "dinner" was what I called "lunch," by the way, which did cause some confusion, more than once.) So we met and had lunch together at the campus cafeteria, affectionately known as the "Bean." And then he asked me out for "supper" and a movie. (We were slowly trying to align our vocabulary.) After I had accepted his invitation, I got a phone call from Kathy. "Linda," she said, "I just want you to know that you don't have to go out with my brother just because you and I are friends." (Kathy, to this day, denies having said this, but I recall the phone call clearly.) I just laughed, and said I was looking forward to going out with Dan. On that first date, we ate at Pizza Hut and went to see the movie, Barefoot in the Park, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.