38th Anniversary of Our 1st Date   2 comments

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In 1968, Dale, a recent graduate from Hibbing High School in  Hibbing, Minnesota, gave Stacie, his 16-year-old girlfriend, his class ring.  They went steady through most of Dale’s freshman year at what was then Hibbing State Junior College and Stacie’s sophomore year at Hibbing High School.  Towards the end of that school year, Stacie’s father received a job transfer/promotion to the company’s office in Cleveland, Ohio, and during the summer of 1969 moved his family to a suburban area situated between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.  The young couple maintained a long-distance romance, writing handwritten and snail-mailed letters daily and talking on the phone.  Dale made a couple of trips out to Ohio to see Stacie and decided by late winter to continue his college career at the University of Akron rather than moving down to the Twin Cities and taking up residence in his older sister’s basement as he commuted to the University of Minnesota, as was once anticipated.  Dale carried through with these plans.  In June 1970, with his Associates Degree from Hibbing State Junior College in hand, he loaded up his Corvair (I said Corvair, not Corvette!), hooked up the U-Haul trailer and took off for Akron, Ohio.

That very same month, I was making the acquaintance of a college student who was living in a student house just off-campus from the University of Akron.  That student house routinely held seven University of Akron male students.  Dale moved in there that month.

The guy I was dating in 1970 had a room across the hall from Dale.  However, he didn’t have a car. That winter in Akron was cold and snowy. Dale had a car. Dale had a telephone in his room, which he was willing to share with the other guys. Dale had a girlfriend and went out on the weekends. Andrew asked Dale if he and Stacie would like to go to see a movie with him and Bonnie. Dale said sure, so Andrew called me up on Dale’s phone and asked if I wanted to see Love Story out at Chapel Hill Mall that weekend with Dale and Stacie. Dale could drive! Dale was called upon to play chauffeur another time or two after that since it had worked so well the first time.

It was in February 1971, 2-3 weeks after that double-date to see Love Story, that Stacie, then a high school senior, returned Dale’s class ring and said that she wanted to date other guys. Dale was crushed, completely blindsided by this announcement. He said he never saw it coming.

The Saturday after this, Andrew had been at my house in the early afternoon and had left my phone number by the communal phone in Dale’s room at “Thee House” since he was expecting a phone call. Later, Andrew returned to Thee House to get ready for work. After he left, Dale looked at that slip of paper with my number on it and called me. He said he knew Andrew had told me about what had happened earlier in the week. He explained that he was feeling really down and just didn’t want to be alone that evening. Unfortunately, he was in a position of having a lot of mutual friends with Stacie but none on his own apart from that relationship. He asked if he could come over, just spend an evening with me and the folks. (He knew I wasn’t up for much, having been diagnosed with pneumonia earlier in the week!) We could watch TV, make some popcorn, listen to some music. Whatever. I genuinely liked Dale and told him that would be fine. Come on over.

We made some popcorn, munched and talked. Dale had brought his guitar and played and sang some Bob Dylan tunes (poorly). We had some pop, watched a little TV. At the end of the evening, he thanked me for allowing him to come over and said that it really meant a lot not to be home alone that night.

That was the evening I considered to be our first “date,” such as it was. We saw each other regularly after that.   We got engaged in June of 1972, married in June of 1973, and celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last June.

We are going to La Grolla  in St. Paul this evening to celebrate the 38th anniversary of our first date.


Posted February 8, 2009 by StPaulieGrrl in marriage

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2 responses to “38th Anniversary of Our 1st Date

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  1. Isn’t it amazing how time flys when you are haing fun?

  2. What an awesome love story! You two are an inspiration.

    Congratulations! 😀

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