In my recent post “JUKE BOX MAGIC – THE FIRST TIME I REALLY ‘SAW’ THE GIRL I WAS GOING TO MARRY” I wrote about ‘Blond Girl’ and explained how I came to go on my first ‘date’ with her, to a movie.
Fast forward to May 11, 1967.
It was Blond Girl’s twenty-first Birthday.
She had transferred to the State University Campus located in the southwestern part of the State that semester, and was living in one of the women’s dorms on campus.
I was on a hiatus from school and was working as a Line Supervisor for the SCM Corporation, at an assembly plant about 60 miles from Blond Girl. I had made arrangements with her to take her out to eat on her birthday, to a Supper Club located about 15 miles south of her campus.
Around 6:30pm that evening, I stopped at her dorm to pick her up, and we drove south to the Supper Club, which was called ‘The Dugout.’
After parking in the Club parking lot, where there were only a few cars around, we walked inside into the bar room for the start of what she was expecting to be a quiet, intimate birthday dinner for two.
As we walked into the large bar room, Blond Girl’s jaw dropped open in surprise, as sitting there on the other side of the bar having a drink were her mother and father, and beside them, my mother and father.
Talk about a surprised young lady!
Blond Girl just could hardly believe that I had arranged for both of our parents to come down to help her celebrate her 21st birthday!
We walked around the bar where we were both greeted with hugs and handshakes, and she received many expressions of Happy Birthday! A few minutes later, we all adjourned to a table in one of the private dining rooms, where we ordered supper and talked until it arrived.
After a great dinner, both sets of parents gave Blond girl birthday gifts, which she proceeded to open and admire. At that point I reached under my chair and handed her a smallish, neatly wrapped, shirt-sized box, which contained my birthday present to her.
Blond Girl opened the box and the wrapping paper inside, and then BURST OUT LAUGHING!
Inside the box I had given her, all neatly folded and clean, was her waitress apron she had worn to work at my parents Supper Club the previous Saturday night, when she was home for the weekend, and where she helped out on occasion. She had inadvertently left the apron at the Club when she finished her shift then and had gone home without it.
Then as she took the apron out of the box to hold it up for all to see, she stopped, noticing something was in the apron pocket.
“What’s this?” she said, as she reached in the pocket and pulled out a small, wrapped box.
“Hmmmm,” I said, “maybe you should open it and find out.”
And so she did, carefully removing the wrapping paper, and then slowly opening the small, hinged box.
Looking at the open box, she froze, her mouth once again locked open in time.
She looked at the box, then looked at me, then looked back at the box, and then at me again…
Inside the box, was a very large, marque-shaped diamond engagement ring, mounted in silver gold, with a small piece of paper sticking up in the rear of the hinged box, which asked: “Yes, or, No?”
When another 5-10 seconds passed and she was still speechless and hadn’t said anything, I finally asked her: “Well…?”
She silently nodded her head slightly up and down twice.
I then took the ring from the box and put it on her finger, which was followed by a kiss and long hug.
At that point, both moms were crying, and I believe that both dads were wiping away a tear or two themselves, having been present at and witness to a most special event in their children’s lives. Both sets of parents expressed their appreciation for being invited to this special evening.
When we all finally left the Supper Club a little later, I drove a now engaged Blond Girl back to the University campus and her dorm, and said goodnight.
When she got back upstairs to her third floor room, her roommate, Jeannie, from Boston, now was the speechless one when she saw the new ring. The news spread throughout her dorm like wild fire, and soon almost every girl there had to come by and see the newly engaged Blond Girl and her large rock.
It was definitely a special birthday celebration!
Meanwhile, 40 some years later…