“We had gone from being church friends to actually going on a date together.”

And that summer, the boy who is now — I’ve been married to for 51 years — called me to ask me for a date. And the first time he called, we had a bad connection and I couldn’t understand who was talking or anything and I hung up on him. And I found out later from my mother-in-law that he had been pacing and pacing and wringing his hands, and trying to get up courage to call me. And finally he — and then when I hung up on him it sent him into a tizzy. Then she told him, “Try again.” So he tried again, and that time we got a good connection and he asked me to go out with him, and we went to the Ingham County Fair.

And I, of course, had grown up going to the fair. And I love the fair. Actually, I love the animal barns better than the Midway. I just love seeing all the different kinds of animals. And so for our first date, we went to the fair and we walked up and down through all the barns. Back then — you wouldn’t recognize now that that’s the Ingham County Fair. Back 50 years ago, there were so many farms around, and so many animals, that they had to set up big tents to shelter the overflow of the number of animals that were at the fair. So there was barns and barns and tents and tents of cows and horses and sheep and pigs. At that time, I don’t remember ever seeing a goat at the fair, but now there’s goats. But anyway, there was lots and lots of dairy cattle and beef cattle of various kinds and like, Brown Swiss, Jerseys and Her- Herefords and Angus and there was lots and lots of different kinds of cattle.

And so we spent the evening walking up and down, and he held my hand and it was, it was, it was very innocent. Anyway, that was my memory of our first date was — and we did ride on — I do remember that we rode on one or two rides on the Midway, but that wasn’t the big thing. It was, it was just, I thought, you know, I was 18 years old. What did I know? I was just so enthralled at how romantic it was walking around, holding his hand. And the fact — a little background here is that I had known — I have known him my entire life. We went to the same church from the time that I was a baby and, and he was there. And so there’s never been a time in my life that I did not know him. So, but this was a whole new frontier that we had gone from being church friends to actually going out on a date together. He had a little, little dark blue VW Bug. One of the original Bugs, the, the little ones. And we went in that, and I remember later on of course, we did more dating, but one of the — I don’t remember hardly any other dates except for that first one where we went to the Ingham County Fair.

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