On Saturday Wally and I will celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary! Wow!!! I can not believe how quickly the years have passed by. I opened up some of my scrapbooks this week and got caught up in the past…on the inside I am still that young girl who fell in love so fast and so-o-o long ago!
I met Wally through his sister, Leah. She had come to Denver to attend Denver Baptist Bible College. She attended our church on the weekends and was my Mom’s helper in the second grade Sunday School Class. She and I got to be good friends. In March of 1980, Wally was coming to Colorado and meeting his best friend Ken Mendenhall here to ski. Wally was just finishing basic training and tech school in the Air Force and was en route to his first base in California. Well, Leah had a pizza party and I got invited. I remember arriving at her house and Wally and Ken were coming out the door. I said, “you must be Wally.” Wally, in his sweet gentle manner said, “I’m Ken, he’s Wally” pointing to Ken and never breaking his stride down the porch steps! Not exactly romantic first moments!
Well, Wally had driven his ‘62 Falcon from Indiana to tech school in San Antonio then to Denver. That is where it broke down…with a broken exhaust manifold! The pizza party was on Saturday night and on Monday night I was leaving town to visit some friends in MN. But, guess who spent all day running him around to junk yards to find parts? And who hung around a garage all day while Wally and Ken worked on it? ME! I guess it was our first date!
Well, after I returned home and Wally made it to California, I began receiving phone calls…yes, from Wally. And then some letters began arriving in the mail and I answered them. We had a long distance romance!! (and neither Wally nor I would recommend that to anyone!) In May there was a long lapse when I didn’t receive any letters. I was a little worried. I was working at The Denver Dry
Goods Store in Cinderella City. (It was quite the mall in its day) One day as I left for work I asked my Dad if he would bring me the mail if any came that afternoon. Well, I did get my letters, and they were delivered to me at work. Guess by who? Wally! He was supposed to be gone on a TDY mission and at the last minute his orders were cancelled. So, he asked for the leave time and flew home to Indiana, collected his motorcycle and rode it back to California. Denver was nice stop over!
Wally, setting out from home in Kendallville, IN
Here we are in my parent’s front yard. Not a very good picture, but I remember this being the only one I had to look at for a long time!
We rode his motorcycle to Estes Park and to the top of Trail Ridge Road. I guess that was our real first date!
Wally, on duty at Travis AFB. He was in the security police. I always thought he was handsome in his uniform!
In October of 1980, Wally came for another visit. On that visit, he asked me to marry him.
The story continues…