I got off work up in Burnet where I’d been shooting dynamite all day, so we could lay sanitary sewer lines all around town. I had to make sure I didn’t run the track drill any that day, because I couldn’t afford to get as dirty as doing that would get me. Big Jimmy Palmer stayed up ahead drilling.
I hit the road to Austin as soon as I could. I wasn’t as clean as I needed to be, but I knew I could shower at my sweethearts place before our big date night. But no way I’d be able to even walk in her house if I’d been drilling rock all day.
Every Wednesday I’d spend much of my days along about this time of my life thinking about getting down to Austin to see my special gal. Wednesday was our night, because I was in Burnet working and she had moved down to share a place with Dixie Lewis and another gal, that I don’t recall her name. She held a job with Retail Merchants, a credit bureau. So there was nothing left to do but drive into Austin on Wednesdays and then wait for Friday nights to roll around so I could get to Round Mountain to see her again. I was that crazy about her.
This particular date would have taken us to El Matamoros at 5th and IH-35 for dinner. I know this because it’s where we went every Wednesday night. We preferred eating upstairs. We’d ask for that.
After dinner we headed over on Congress to Kruger’s Jewelers.
We had gone there previously to pick out the rings. That night we stopped in to actually pick them up. David Kruger, that made the TV commercials for them for years waited on us. He was a young man, not so much older than these 19 year old customers of his.
Afterwards we drove back to her place. The other girls, her roommates, happen to not be there. I slipped a tape into a track player in the living room. I got down on one knee, just the way I had seen done in movies, and with Freddy Hart singing Easy Lovin, I slipped that shiny diamond on her finger and asked her to marry me. She said she would.
Her surprise mostly that night was I had told David Kruger to upsize that little diamond from a 1/4 carat to a 1/2 carat. She was as proud of that ring as she would have been with a two carat.
We went into action planning out the soonest that we could make it happen, that we could marry so she could quit the job and a living arrangement that wasn’t working for her. I think mostly putting an end to us being apart most of each week was what we both wanted desperately.
We decided that January 8, 1972 would give her three months to plan everything out and the holidays would be behind us for another year. It sounded perfect, even if it was a bit rushed.
A few days later we found out her dad had taken a job in Rock Springs, Wyoming and his being able to come back so soon was going to put him in a bind. With that in mind, plus the idea that we were ready to get this show in the road, a new wedding date of November 6, 1971 was set. The three months shrunk to just under a month.
We knew we wanted a nice but simple wedding, so she, her mother and sister and some friends got everything ready and we would wed exactly one month after we became engaged.
Yes Folks, My Wonderful Wife And I Became Engaged To Marry 50 Years Ago Tonight – October 6, 1971.
If we are average, and I think we are, each of our hearts have beat close to 2 billion times since we decided to spend the rest of our lives together, albeit mine may have beat a little faster than hers at times when disaster seemed to be impending, but with some luck and by the Grace of God, our hearts are still keeping time together.