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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

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So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Summer of '73

It was Spring Break and as a struggling college student I was working as a part time "bookkeeper" in an appliance store. This was really only a receipt recorder (pre-computer days) in a family run appliance store within walking distance of my little, 1900 era, servant quarters. My house was part of a large turn of the century estate that had been sold off in parcels with various types of homes being placed at irregular intervals on the property. It was probably no more than 200 square feet but it had the major advantage of a garden space and a claw foot tub that had somehow survived. I had a 59 Chrysler New Yorker that had belonged to my grandfather but I drove it as little as possible because the gas was an "extra" cost I couldn't afford at fifteen cents a gallon. My boss'  son was returning home and in need of a job so they were going to give him mine at the beginning of summer.
I went to Knott's Berry Farm and put in an application. For those of you not familiar with Knott's Berry Farm, it is one of the many theme parks that now dot the southern California landscape.  Many are not aware of this, but Knott's was actually once a berry farm that produced jellies and jams.  Eventually this orchard was sold and turned into none other than a theme park.  Knott's had me interview for the Spice Shop. The job was in the Ghost Town section of the theme park and it was indeed a spice shop and that is what they sold. At that time the park was known for its beautiful gift shop, a well known antique shop and some other specialty shops. You could enter the park for a limited time on any day to shop at these venues, present your receipt at the exit and you had no admission fee. Full time summer work was an absolute necessity to fund school and my living expenses while classes limited the number of hours I could work. In spite of that that was the only job I applied for and I had the absolute certain sense that I would get the job and I did. My uniform was a pink and white gingham frontier dress with a white apron. I had hair below my waist and they wanted it worn braided down my back. My job was to pass out cracker dip samples made out of the spices and to explain how to use the various spices. The shop was across from the School House and The Bird Cage Theatre and next door to the Knife Shop.

On my first day at work I had three staged gunfights/robberies pass through the shop, what seemed like the entire West Coast contingent of tourists, and four performances of a blue grass trio on my porch. The blue grass trio included a guitar player, a stand up bass and a banjo player. The bass player had a voice that could lift you to heaven, the guitar player's voice would steal your heart and before you knew it was gone. The banjo player had eyes the color of the sky and hands that would gently fold your heart and cradle it like a rare treasure. The banjo player came in and sat on a milk pail and visited that day. He returned several times a day in the following the days in between their shows.Our first date was on the Fourth of July. We met at my house after work and he brought a home made cheese pie that he had made for dinner. We dated all summer and he proposed on my birthday, October 15, and we were married December 30 of that year. Our courtship never felt hurried or rushed, it felt like coming home.  He said he knew the minute he saw me I was the one, I was slower on the uptake but there has not been a time that I felt it was the wrong choice. Kendyl and I have been married for thirty seven years, have three children and three wonderful grandchildren with more on the way. We could not have chosen a better life!