Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Dad's Story

Quite a few years ago, I asked my dad to tell me how he and my mom had met. I knew, of course, but I really enjoy hearing my dad tell a story. So he emailed this to me, and I saved it. I think it's fitting to share this for a few reasons. First off, today is my Dad's birthday. Secondly, I don't want to lose this piece of history. Third, I think it's interesting and funny.

Told in my Dad's words. [I have inputed information in brackets, to clarify.]

This is what I remember of how it happened; I was working and going to school (Mesa Community College). School was sort of a draft avoidance measure more than actually school for the purpose of learning. Work was more important because I had money. I was working at Fred Myer type of store, grocery store and lots of other stuff. It was a fairly new thing. Working there with me was a friend from High School -Roy Weager. Actually I started working there (can't remember the name of the store) first and then Roy got hired. Roy was not interested in school, so he was hired on days. I was working part time evenings and weekends. Both of us were in the Meat Department.

Roy had a girl friend named Sandy. Dark hair, bushy eyebrows - can't remember her last name (maybe Lutz but not sure). They were serious. Roy and Sandy were not members (neither was I). Linda [my mom] moved to Mesa and was in school and met Sandy who was still in High School - They were both Seniors. Sandy set her up with a blind date with this friend of Roy's, that would be me. I can't remember where we went or what we did - probably an age thing. Nevertheless, we dated or probably better stated - saw each other every day for the next week. We continued to date fairly steady. During the course of these early days of dating, I remember I think it was Gib [my mom's cousin] who came home from his Mission. He was visiting with the Peterson family in Mesa for a day or two and I happened to be there to hear some of the report to them regarding his Mission. There were some difficulties associated with our dating because I was not a member "yet". Linda and I discussed this at various times, walked through the Mesa Temple grounds etc. I agreed to take the Missionary discussions. By this time Linda and family had moved to Phoenix. The move did not get rid of me - I found them. There was some concern regarding my "courting" of Linda by some family members but once they met me and realized I was such a wonderful person they decided I could continue on a limited basis.

As our relationship progressed, we started looking at rings and things. I was now a member and we were making plans to get married, however I had not actually asked permission from dad or actually formally asked Linda. One night, "Pete" [my mom's dad] was in town (Phoenix) and I had him captured in my car for some reason. I needed to pick Linda up at the Phone Co where she worked and asked for permission to marry Linda. As I heard later, dad (Pete) was somewhat terrified of my driving that he agreed under duress. As you think about this, coming from Taylor to Phoenix, just the thought of multiple stop lights and traffic could strike fear in anyone when combined with a 19 year old driving a car with no seatbelts. Having permission to marry Linda, I moved forward with this plan. Linda picked out a ring she liked and I proceeded to pay for it. The plan was to ask her to make this commitment onValentines day (1969).

Remember the school thing noted above. Well, I decided working was better and put the school thing on hold. Uncle Sam found out and caught up with me and my bogus school draft deferment.While leaving work one day, I stopped by to visit a friend in the produce department. He had just received his Draft Notice and I found this very funny. I think I laughed all the way home. The laughing stopped when I got home and found a letter from the US Armed Forces Induction Service. The letter started out: "Greetings, you are hereby inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States............." I had a reporting date of March 6 to the Induction Station.

Well, I got Linda's ring out of lay-a-way and gave her the ring and my Draft Notice the same night. She accepted (but I guess you know that). After basic training in Texas, Advanced Training in Alabama, then to Biloxi Mississippi, and a 2 week delay for Hurricane Camille, I completed school and Linda and I were married in the Mesa Temple on October 22, 1969.

About 6 days later I left for Viet Nam.


Sharon said...

Dad! Her sure does know how to tell a story!

Taylor and Kristin Williams said...


PS: I just got my Associates degree from Mesa Community College and I was married in the Mesa temple. :) How fun!

Heidi said...

Shaina, that's a great story! I liked that I knew some of the places he's talking about since I live in the Phx area!

You've inspired me to get my parents to do the same thing. They have a cute story too.. and it's funny when they tell it. But it would be nice to see if in writing.

Jen Sue Wild said...

Awee What a fun peice of history!!
My dad wrote my kids his lifestory a bout ten years ago my kids love to read it..

Courtney said...

I love the idea of having a wonderful piece of history being written down so naturally. Maybe I can get my dad to do something like that. My mom passed away when I was 19 so I really don't know a lot about how they met. Thanks for the great story.
Oh and by the way, I really enjoy your blog and have shown it to many people. I hope you don't mind but we all like reading it!! Just think of it as more "friends" out there praying for you and your baby!!