In an earlier post I mentioned that I married my college sweetheart. While that statement was true, it is, by the tiniest of margins, a tad misleading. I first met Goody Two Shoes in the summer of 1976 at Summer School. It wasn't one of those deals where we'd both flunked English or something and had to make it up.
The county Vocational Technical Center offered summer classes...sort of like the Continuing Education program at the local Community College. Goody Two Shoes went to Summer School with her best friend simply for something to do. I, on the other hand, was left with little choice when my mother announced that I was going to get off my lazy butt and do something constructive. Since I was already a student at Vo-Tech, enrolled in the Carpentry & Cabinetry program I figured why not.
Once I was back in shop class...and knowing this wasn't a pass/fail thing...I embarked on a summer of unbridled capitalism. In other words, I made money. I had made a set of dog silhouettes for my next door neighbors. They were mounted on sticks and designed to be sunk in the ground facing each other. I took a router and cut their first names, one in each dog, then cut their last name in a small scrap of pine then suspened it between the dogs. Get the picture?
While I was working on my project, one of my summertime classmates, a woman in her thirties with a voice like Edith Bunker, asked if I could make a set for her. I said, sure, and that it would cost her $15. She agreed and my little business was off and running. Before the summer was over I had made 20 to 25 sets. Not bad, huh?
Where does Goody Two Shoes fit into all this? I knew the friend she came to summer school with. Her friend was also a student at the Vo-Tech center. Anyway, we met in the hallway one day after lunch and her friend introduced us. I thought she was cute, but painfully shy. But man, was she ever cute. And being a guy it didn't take me long to notice her natural charms. Yeah, she uh, wiggled and jiggled in the right places...and just enough to hold my attention. I thought, wow, now if I can get her to talk I might have a chance with her.
That chance didn't come until a year later; in September of 1977. Unbeknownst to one another we both enrolled at Allegany Community College. It was an overcast day as I walked into the Student Activity Center for Freshman Orientation. There were at least two hundred of us milling about. I recognized very few faces, other than old classmates from high school. After talking to a couple of my buds for a few minutes I wandered around a little. About thirty seconds later I spotted a familiar face.
There, sitting on a couch all alone was Goody Two Shoes. If my memory serves me right, I walked over, sat on the coffee table facing her and said hello. Believe it or not I actually got a hello back from her. Now, in her version of the story, this is the part where she adds that, yes, she did say hello, BUT (there's always a but) she was scared to death and she hoped I'd go away.
The Student Activity Center
I didn't go away. Instead I walked with her to the gym where the new freshmen were herded into groups alphabetically. Since her last name began with J and mine with H we found ourselves in the same group. That's about as much as I can remember from that day, except for the fact that she still looked cute as can be, she was dressed nice, and she smelled pretty.
As time passed that first semester we passed in the hallway of the Humanities building, and we'd bump into one another in the cafeteria. We even shared a booth together once. Talk about a thrill. Finally, I asked her out...to a movie. We had a good time, but when I dropped her off at her house, she got out of the car and ran inside. Yeah, I was really wearing her down.
The Humanities building.
Needless to say I wasn't smooth when it came to dating. And she was so shy it wasn't funny. But we both kept at it, and one day in the Spring '78 semester a bunch of us skipped class (it wasn't my first), piled in a friend's van and went...are you ready for this....to Burger King. On the way back to school me and Goody Two Shoes sat in the back seat laughing and carrying on with everyone else. But there was one point when no one was watching that we kissed for the first time.
We were off and running after that. I dropped out of school while she went on and got her A.A. degree. I got a job with a local carpenter and tried to make a few bucks. Over the summer we went to the movies, went to Kennywood, and spent a lot of evenings on her parents front porch listening to our favorite music and necking...in between visits from her overly protective mother.
Here are a few snapshots from the vault
My favorite photo of us from that time. It's also living proof that I wore a suit at one time and that I did clean up pretty good.
Here we are on March 13, 1979. Our wedding day.
So what came next for Goody Two Shoes and the Filthy Beast? It was a simple mathimatic equation...and a lot of fun. Still is! (Giggle, giggle, giggle)
Here's a little something from 1977 to early 1979...the days when we were dating. See how many you can pick out.
Belated Happy Valentines Day, Hon.