John and Clara

John and I were together for 44 years.
They were the best years of my life.

Memories - How We Met


Falling for each other...

Our details of meeting for the first time are different. We both went to the same school, I knew John because he was in my sister's class, sometimes she would talk about him telling something funny he said in class. Being younger he never noticed me, sooo...this is how we first "met."

On Friday nights, a lot of kids went to Forestdale to the Skate Your Date skating rink.

I was around 12 years old, John was 14. He noticed me that night, for some reason. His first thought when he saw me, "That's the prettiest girl I've ever seen!" How he tells it! He started watching me. He thought, "She is probably from Forestdale and has a boyfriend." He kept watching and thought, "She is so girly acting!" Finally he got the nerve to come over and speak to me. He thought, "I've got to find out who she is." I had seen him there skating around that night. I thought he knew who I was since I knew who he was, but he had never noticed me before at school or known Colleen had a younger sister. I felt shy talking to him and wanted a distraction from my awkwardness, so I pretended my skate was stuck on the rail that separates the sitting area from the rink. It really was caught, but all I had to do was straighten it to get it off. When he heard me talk he thought, "She has the sweetest voice." He fell in love that night, and never got over it. He always said, "I fell for you that night and I'm still falling."

I liked him a lot, too. We started talking at school in between classes. He would walk me to class. He gave me one of his school pictures. I always got it out and put it on my school desk to look at during class. He would call me on the phone at night and we would stay on for hours. My arm would go numb and my ear would be sore from holding the phone next to it. I recorded a conversation one time with my tape recorder. His voice was still high!

He rode a motorcycle; he would ride by my house to see if he could see me outside. I would hear him coming over the hill a block away. I would run to the window to see him! He would stop at the stop sign, sit there a minute, then drive back off. He would come over to my house to see me. I was so afraid he would try to kiss me, I would make my neighbor and good friend, Sherry, come hang out with us so he couldn't try. She would try to leave and I would grab her and make her stay. Finally, one night when he came to see me, I walked him out the door and it happened. He talked about that kiss our entire life. What it did to him. He always said, "You're the first girl I kissed and I want you to be the last."

He would drive his parents' car over and we would go riding all over Graysville. It was a straight shift, so I would shift the gears for us when he pushed down the clutch, so he could steer with one hand and hold my hand with his other hand. When we came to a stop sign he would kiss me. We were so young and innocent, we thought holding hands and kissing were amazing. When the song "Precious and Few" came on the radio, he would turn it up. He said that was "our song."

Although we had 44 years, they were precious and few.

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