Tag Archives: Love Story

How I Met the Love of My Life Part 3

9 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

My friend, Bud, and I had joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in the middle of our senior year (big mistake).  We did this to impress the girls (before I met DiVoran) when we wore our uniforms around town, on Friday nights, after our reserve meetings.  But after graduation, I realized what a foolish thing I had done, and I wanted to get my “active duty” over with so I could go to college.  Some of you may remember that back in those days, when you signed on the dotted line to serve in the military, there was no getting out of your commitment.  You were in for the length of your service time, and that was all there was to it.  I had asked DiVoran to marry me, gave her a diamond engagement ring, and asked her to wait for me until I got back from my active duty.  She wanted to get married right then.  After talking it over, I finally agreed to us getting married as soon as we could, and she agreed to wait for a while.  We also promised to write each other every day I was away, and we did.  

After boot camp I shipped out on the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) for a Med Cruise.  That was a wonderful experience for this 18-year old swabby.  I got to visit most of the countries that ring the Mediterranean.  When the ship’s tour of duty was over, we were relieved, on station, by our sister carrier the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42).   The voyage our ship made across the north Atlantic, returning to the United States, was one of the roughest I was ever on during my time in the Navy.  We ran into one of those historical nor’easter storms, that sailors have talked about for centuries, and believe me it was brutal.  We docked at Norfolk, VA to off-load the air group, non-essential personnel and equipment.  

The ship was scheduled for a major two-year overhaul which would include the addition of a canted flight deck.  There were no dry-docks available on the east coast, so the ship made the trip around South America (the ship was too wide to go thru the Panama Canal).  We visited cities on the east coast of Brazil, made our way round Cape Horn and stopped at Valparaiso on the west coast of Chili. We also stopped at Panama City, on the west coast of Panama, and finally at San Francisco, CA as we made our way north to Bremerton, WA.

I was able to watch the “Yard Birds” work on the ship for a month while I waited for my transfer orders.  That was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about the ship I had never knewn.  I finally received my orders transferring me to the USS Hector (AR-7) in San Diego, CA.  The Hector was going to be tied up to Pier 1, at the San Diego Naval Base for about six months.  It was during this time that I was able to attend a Diesel Engine Mechanic School and obtain my rating as an Engineman.  My mother had good friends living in La Mesa (not far from the Naval Base), and they invited me to their home for dinner several times.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

How I Met the Love of My Life-Part 2

2 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

The way I remember it, over time I kinda lost some of my interest in Rita, and found Divoran to be a lot more interesting and easier to talk to.  Soon, we were talking to each other, on the phone, almost every evening.  I believe she was losing interest in Bud at the same time.  One day I told DiVoran I had something I wanted to ask her, and could I come over to her house.

When I got there, DiVoran remembers, I seemed a little nervous, so her mother offered me a basket of potatoe chips.  I set the basket of chips on the footstool in front of the chair I was sitting in.  As we talked and I munched away, I dropped some crumbs on my pants.  In a nervous jester to brush the crumbs off my pants, I inadvertently knocked the basket of chips over, and the chips spilled all over the living room rug.  Divoran burst out laughing.  Boy was I embarrassed!  But then we were both laughing, and she assured me that it wasn’t a problem and helped me pick up the chips.  The reason I had gone to see DiVoran was to ask her if she would go out with me.  When I asked her, she said, “What?  I thought we’re just good friends!”  “We are.” I said.  Then she said, “But I’ve never flirted with you!  You are the only boy I haven’t flirted with.”  She was surprised, and didn’t know what to say.  But then, after she got over the shock, she said, “Yes, I’ll go out with you, but what about Rita?”  I told her that I didn’t think Rita was really very interested in me anymore, and that she had all but told me so.

The next thing I remember, we were enjoying running around together all over town, on my motorcycle or in my 1940 Chevy; going to movies, roller skating, playing miniature golf and going to the local A&W Drive-in for hamburgers and malts.  One night we were parked, in the Chevy, on a high ridge overlooking the city lights, and one of the local radio stations was signing-off (midnight).  Their theme song was the beautiful “Canadian Sunset” instrumental softly playing in the background.  The announcer said, “At this time we are closing out our day’s activities with the beautiful “Canadian Substitute.  Join us tomorrow at 6:00 AM…” by then we were both laughing our heads off.  To this day, we still laugh every time we hear that song played.  I asked DiVoran to go steady with me that night.  I gave her my class ring to wear around her neck on a gold chain.  She said it was too big and too expensive, and gave it back to me.  I was so upset by her rejection that I threw the ring out the car window.  She was shocked!  Then we both got serious and got out to look for it.  She finally realized how serious I was about her having my ring, that she took it and wore it.  We finished out the school year having a great time going places, talking and laughing our way together.  

—-To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

How We Met~Part 3

19 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

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.

2

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.

3

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.

9

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.

10

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.

 

 

~~~~~~The End~~~~~~

How We Met~Part 2

12 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

JUDY

Let me add a bit of Fred’s history here. He is the oldest of four children in his family.

His father had been in World War 2 as a Chaplain, after being through seminary and pastorate. When the Army Air Corps decided to break apart and the Air Force became its own entity, his dad went with the AF rather than Army. So the family moved around quite a bit – not only in the States, but also had a tour in Italy after the war.

When Fred was in high school, his dad was sent to Japan.

4

The family followed, but it took a while. The year they moved, Fred went to three different high schools! (In his public school years, he went to 23 different schools!) They started in Panama City, Florida, then moved to Danville, California (near Walnut Creek) for a while, then on to Japan. He was ticked that the California school he was in – San Ramon Valley Union High School – which was supposed to be top-of-the-line at that time, didn’t offer either Latin or advanced Algebra – both of which he’d studied in Florida. The California schools also didn’t want to let him take upper-level American history (a junior course, and he was just a sophomore), saying that he couldn’t possibly be ready for that class. His father convinced them to let him take a test to measure his level – and he aced the test! In any case, they were there only a few months before the move to Japan.

Fred’s sisters told me later that he went straight from age 12 to 20! He apparently got serious about his studies and girls just fell by the wayside! I guess it was a good thing, since he was Valedictorian of his high school graduating class in Japan! None of that moving around stunted his brain power, it seems. He actually said it was an education within itself, and he was grateful for that opportunity.

5

Because of his grade average, he had applied to – and been accepted by and had a line number for – four universities: Purdue, Florida State, the University of Illinois, and Washington State. He just hadn’t made his choice yet.

Fred had always had a bit of a problem with hay fever, but it got worse while he was in Japan. He was talking with the librarian in his high school on Johnson AFB, Japan, one day. She was from Albuquerque, and she suggested that the dry climate in New Mexico might actually be good for his hay fever. So, late in June that year, he applied for admission to the University of New Mexico – and was accepted.

And that’s how he came to be in Albuquerque. God just brought him there for us to meet. Isn’t it amazing how God works things out?

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.     Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

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