Saturday, August 27, 2011
The Girl Next Door
Martha, my future wife, summered in the neighboring camp with her huge family. She was number nine out of eleven, first girl after five boys. She liked to hang around with my cousin Megs, and did not have too much interaction with me. She and Megs were too cool to be seen hanging around with us younger kids. That all changed as we got older.
In the summer of 1976, she came to the camp visiting from San Francisco where she had been working at the PBS Station KQED. She saw my friends and me hanging around outside of our camp’s front porch, didn’t recognize me, and asked her Mom, “Who is that over there?” Her Mom replied, “Why it's John.”
Martha thought to herself, “Hmm, John certainly grew up.”
We talked a few times during her visit that summer, and that may have been the start of our relationship. She still lived in San Francisco,so I invited her to a Marin County wedding I was going to that summer. We had a great time at the wedding. Martha moved back to Vermont in the autumn of 1979, and we began our courtship. During Christmas week in 1981, with all of my siblings in attendance, Martha and I arrived together at a local nightclub. My brother was working as a bartender there. My entire family could sense that there was something going on, and boy, were they right.
The day we got married I was driving in the limo to the ceremony, when the news came on the radio saying the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant had begun to melt down. My best man’s toast made a reference to our love being as strong as the rock at Barney Point. Well the shale cliff deteriorates and continues to break apart into the water, but not our love for each other.