As it turned out, Fred was attending the same church where I was a member. So we kept seeing each other there, and were in the same youth group.
It didn’t take long for me to realize the he was probably the most shy guy I had ever met. He also had never been on a date – so I was his first! And as for the first date – the youth group was having a hay ride up to the mountains – and I had to ask HIM if he would like to go with me! I told you he was shy!! He also didn’t have a driver’s license, so anywhere we went, I was the driver.
Chapel service at the UNM BSU Center
I remember that the BSU had a Halloween haunted house, and I went there with Fred. It was a neat thing. In a darkened room, they had you put your hand in a bowl of peeled grapes as eyeballs, spaghetti noodles as brains…you get the picture. One of the adult sponsors of the BSU was good at story-telling, and she had on a black outfit with glow-in-the-dark gloves, and told some sort of tale. Everyone had on some kind of costume. There was bobbing for apples and other such games. It was really a lot of fun. You remember – the way we used to do it.
The group had retreats in the mountains outside Albuquerque (Sandia Mountains); they had retreats at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center near Santa Fe; all those things Fred and I went to together, becoming more familiar with each other.
Fred started coming to our BHiU meetings – by walking from UNM to the church where my group met – about a three mile hike – and all before he had to go to his own classes! He said he doesn’t remember ever riding the bus there – perhaps the bus schedule at that hour of the morning didn’t fit our meeting time. In any case – he walked there.
Fred started spending time at my house, getting to know my parents.
My brother, Bill, had already gone into the Navy and wasn’t there to meet him. It wasn’t until we were engaged to be married that Bill and Fred met. We had been dating for about 18 months before Fred popped the question. I said “yes – but not yet.” We were engaged for another 18 months before we married.
Fred, my parents, and I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles (Inglewood), California, to spend Christmas with Bill and DiVoran in 1960. They had a little house and we were really crammed into that space.
Dad told me later that Bill had pronounced Fred to be “a man’s man” as we left. Bill had always been my protector – when Daddy was out on the road as much as he was, Bill was the one to meet my dates. And intimidate them, if possible! He was bigger than most of them. But he and Fred got along, right from the start.
The last year of Fred’s UNM experience, he roomed at our house. He paid my parents what he would have paid the university for room and board. It made us very comfortable with each other – we saw each other last thing at night and first thing in the morning. So we both went into our marriage with our eyes wide open!
We married on June 20, 1961. It’s been a great 53+ years of marriage. We are grateful to God for all these years together.