Saturday, September 09, 2006
A Real Love Story
I've reached the time in my 50 year stories to tell this story. A lot of the very best memories of the years I've written about so far included my grandparents, and today I spent the afternoon at the cemetery in Dallas where they were buried. I have a rather unusual habit of going to cemeteries in the different places I've lived and "talking" to my grandmother on occasion, so today I went right to the source. :)
When I think of love stories, I think of these two people. My grandfather was a soda jerk in a little town pharmacy when he spied my grandmother. She was a bright young college student, and every day she would walk past the pharmacy to catch to bus to go to classes. Now, this would not seem so unusual, but he noticed that every day she would walk past reading a book, never looking up, feeling the curb with her foot because she was so absorbed in reading. He said that he knew right away she was the woman he would marry. It took him nearly a year to get her to look up from her book enough to see him.
She on the other hand, was not so convinced. From a very old Texas family, she found she liked him very much, but her family thought he was a young man of little ambition. Being able to make the best pimento cheese sandwich in three counties really didn't count. Little did they know, he had a very unusual hobby. He had a "knack" for electronics, and he had built the first television set from a kit anyone in his little town had ever seen. Still not that convinced, she started dating him and found she loved him in spite of herself. So when the big question came, she made him make three promises to her. That he would find suitable work for a "husband", that he would make sure any children would be college educated, and that he would someday travel with her to Europe.
Well, life was bumpy in the Depression, but they made it through. They were together 49 years, had six college educated children (two PHDs, two Masters, two BAs); he worked his hobby into becoming the "go to" sound engineer and Director of WFAA News programming, and they did make it all over the world together. Not one commitment made between them was broken. Until the day she died in 1974, and his own death in 1977, he always told me he was the luckiest man on the face of the earth to have her.
So when anyone tells me true love is not possible, I always think of these two people. In the nearly 30 years since they are both gone they are still alive in me, a precious love story.