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

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Girl Next Door

We met when she was four and I was one. I would marry “the girl next door”…sort of. Our families leased summer cabins next to each other The two cedar cabins on Barney Point in Colchester were still in great shape and had withstood the harsh Vermont weather since 1928.  Vermonters referred to these dwellings as camps, but they were actually rustic, summer, lake houses. The builder made dining room tables, benches, rocking chairs, and a porch swing out of the cleared cut cedars from the joint lot. My dad began leasing this camp for us in 1949.
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.