Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dan and I - How It All Began

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.

My first couple days in Abilene I stayed at the home of Boyd and Fredda Fields, a couple I knew from Juneau. They had been instrumental in starting the church in Juneau, and, once the church was well established, they had moved back to Abilene. It felt good to know that they would be nearby as I launched this new chapter of my life.

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.

The first week at Abilene was orientation week for new students. During that week I met a bright, confident, capable freshman girl, who had grown up in Texas, but had recently moved, with her family, to Montana. Her name was Kathy, and we became friends. Once orientation was over, and all of the returning students were back on campus, Kathy introduced me to her brother (who was actually her cousin, but had been raised with her, as a brother), a junior, named Dan.

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.

We hadn't dated long before Dan asked me to marry him. He came home with me - all the way to Alaska - that Christmas, to ask my Dad for my hand in marriage. The following fall (one year after we met) Dan put a diamond on my finger, and our engagement became public knowledge. We married the next summer, at the end of my sophomore year, and after Dan's graduation.


Anonymous said...

It's sooooo romantic....and you both look soooooo young....that is a great picture.

Thanks for sharing.



Linda said...

Yes, we were just "babes." That's for sure. Dan was almost 22, when we got married, and I was 20.

The picture is one of the pages of the "heritage" scrapbook I did for the boys last Christmas. If you want to see the other pages, let me know. I'll email you a site where you can see them.

Anonymous said...

I did not know that you guys were THAT young when you married. Wait...I guess Dan was older than K and & I were when we married. Yes, I would love to see more of your scrapbooked pages. You do such a fabulous job on Sweetpeas's!! They are precious.