The Beginning of Something Beautiful   2 comments

A surprising thing happened on this date 40 years ago. Late in the afternoon of Saturday, February 6, 1971, I got a phone call from a young man. His name was Dale Scheisskopf, and I had met him in person for the first time several weeks earlier.

The circumstances of our first meeting involved the person in our lives that we had in common. I had been dating a college student who lived in a house rented to seven University of Akron male students. He and I had been dating openly for a couple of months, although there was a colorful history of us talking to and seeing each other clandestinely for several months prior to that. (I was 15 and he was 23. It’s no stretch of the imagination to figure out why my parents had gone ballistic and forbid the relationship, hence the sneaking around.)

My college friend lived in the student house with Dale and each had a bedroom on the second floor of the house. When Dale had moved in during the summer term of 1970 from his home in Hibbing, Minnesota, he quickly became frustrated with the arrangement of the house having only one telephone for seven residents. (This was before cell phones were invented!) Furthermore, the communal phone was on the first floor, which made it very inconvenient for conducting private conversations. Not only that, it was understandably in use a lot. Dale arranged to have a second phone line installed on the second floor that was in his name. He was generous enough to place the phone in the hallway where the other guys could use it, and they would reimburse him for any long-distance charges rung up. However, he also reserved the right to haul the phone into his room and use it for his own private conversatioins and calls back home to Minnesota. This phone becomes instrumental in the story.

A car plays an important role in this story as well. My friend didn’t have one. Dale did. My friend didn’t even like cars because of their negative impact on the environment. However, there is no denying the fact that a car comes in handy during cold, snowy winters in Ohio when you want to take your girlfriend to see a movie without having her mother drive you. Then there becomes an advantage to double-dating where you and your girlfriend and your friend and his girlfriend go on an outing together and take his car.

On Saturday afternoon, January 16, 1971, Dale and Stacie and my friend and I went to Chapel Hill Mall to see Love Story at the mall’s theater. That was my first in-person meeting with Dale, even though I knew he was the owner of the telephone and had spoken to him briefly when I had called for my friend.

A week after the Love Story double-date, my friend wanted to take a Saturday afternoon trip to an outlying town to see what was billed as a “wooden bicycle.” I think that there was also something involving a left-behind scarf or gloves that he was picking up at the same time. He enlisted Dale as the chauffeur, and the three of us set off for our adventures in Atwater. Stacie was on a skiing trip that weekend, leaving Dale to his own activities that Saturday. Dale was in good spirits that day and cracked jokes, made amusing comments, and generally kept me entertained on the excursion and the lunch that followed.

I have to relate this incident just for the record. Both my friend and Dale escorted me to my front door at the end of that time together. Andrew kissed me goodbye while Dale hovered at the edge of the front porch. Dale piped up, “Where’s my kiss goodbye? I did all the driving!”  (He was just messing around, I knew, poking a little fun at his housemate.)

I played along with this and invited him to claim his goodbye kiss, expecting to give him a peck and send him on his way. He had other ideas! He laid a big one right on my lips and drew it out for a few seconds, and damn! That guy could kiss! Very sensuous mouth and I found myself, much to my surprise, enjoying those moments.

Andrew started to flap in the background. “Hey! Hey! HEY!! That’s MY girlfriend!”

Dale and I, chuckling a little, ended our goodbye.

January ended, my upper respiratory affliction of several weeks duration took a turn for the worse, and I was diagnosed with pneumonia. On Tuesday evening of that week, February 2, Dale’s steady girlfriend of more than two years made a date to meet with him at the University’s student union. (Stacie was Dale’s reason for being in Ohio from Minnesota. Her father had gotten a job promotion when they were less than a year into their relationship in Hibbing and moved his family to Ohio. They conducted their relationship long-distance for almost a year through snail-mail, phone calls, and several 800 mile trips during that year until Dale moved to Akron in June 1970 to continue his education at the University of Akron.) On that evening, she gave his class ring back and said that she wanted to be free to date other guys.

Dale was completely blindsided by this turn of events. He claims he never saw it coming. He was devastated. Andrew told me about this the day after it happened.

The weekend arrived after this devastating event. On Saturday morning and early afternoon, Andrew paid the sick girlfriend a visit before his shift as a busboy at an upscale restaurant on the edge of downtown Akron. He had left my phone number by the upstairs phone at Thee House, expecting that he might receive a call from work to change his schedule for the day. The restaurant didn’t call, and he left as planned to go home, change his clothes, and head off for work.

Dale said just this past week that there was no particular premeditation involved with his decision to call me. It was an impulsive thing. However, that slip of paper with my phone number on it found its way into his pocket. He was upset, depressed, and what friends he had acquired during his seven months in Ohio were mutual friends with his now-ex girlfriend. He called me and asked if he could come over for the evening. He knew that I was aware of what had happened that week. He was painfully honest and said that he just didn’t feel like being alone that evening. I said yes. We spent the evening together at my home, listening to music, talking, eating some popcorn, sipping soft drinks. It was not much of a “first date” with one of us recovering from pneumonia and the other one heart-broken. I don’t think that either one of us considered it a date at the time.

But it was our beginning as a couple 40 years ago today. The next date a week later was a “real date,” and they’ve just gotten better over the years!

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Posted February 6, 2011 by StPaulieGrrl in marriage, Relationships

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2 responses to “The Beginning of Something Beautiful

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  1. Very nice story. Ours has some similarity. We met in Walker MN. when her sister wanted to date a much older guy & needed a double date. She set me up with her best friend whom I really didn’t like but her kid sister was someone special. The friend told the sister to stay away from me – BIG MISTAKE – she loves a challenge. I couldn’t have been happier as she was the one I wanted all along. 38 years later & we still set the north woods on fire 🙂

  2. Congratulations on your longterm relationship! Keep setting those woods on fire — figuratively speaking, of course! 😉

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