It was Saturday, November 1, 1975… so you’re probably wondering how I remember it so clearly. To tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure myself. You see, she (you knew there had to be a girl involved, right?) and I had been in classes together for a year or so I guess and she had been dating a good friend of mine but they had broken up (within 4 or 5 months anyway). We had always been friendly to each other and I had always thought she was kinda cute but nothing extraordinary. I had seen her out on a date with another friend of mine on Friday night October 31st and couldn’t help but remember that on that same day she had invited me to come to a piano recital at the College of the Albemarle (the local community college) on Saturday.
So I got up Saturday morning and did a few things around the house and then got dressed and went out to the recital. Well I was sitting there waiting and waiting and the recital was about to begin and she hadn’t shown.. and I am thinking to myself, isn’t this great… got all dressed up and ended up at a piano recital for no good reason at all. Well just as it was about to begin she walked in and was in a state of shock to see me there. She had no idea that I would actually show up. I can’t tell you anything about the recital other than it seem to go on forever. Afterwards, I ask her if she would like to go get a drink or something from McDonalds… to which she agreed. As luck would have it, it was home coming that weekend for Elizabeth City State University, which meant the McDonald’s parking lot was jam packed. Since our options were limited and I was kinda interested in maybe going out, I ask her if she would like to go to dinner. She said she would but she would have to check with her parents first. So anyway, she goes home and so do I to let my mom and dad know what I am doing.
As luck would have it, as I pull up in front of her house to see if things were working out, her mom and dad were just getting home and they were just walking up the sidewalk as I pulled up. So I jumped out of the car and introduced myself since they had never met me before. I was so nervous but got through it somehow. It actually went pretty well since her mom and dad had grown up in Elizabeth City also, which meant, of course that they knew my mom and dad too. So we went on in the house and she came back into the living room in a minute and said it was okay for her to go. We ended up going to eat dinner that night at one of the nicer restaurants (“nicer” was a relative term back then) in Elizabeth City.
Thus began one of the longest relationships I had growing up… she and I dated off and on until Christmas day 1981. It was one of those relationships where we could hardly stand to be together but were scared to death to be apart if that makes any sense. I look back on that relationship and smile… I can’t think of anyone I have ever known that I would rather have spent those years with than her. It was all kinda awkward and clumsy but she never made me feel like the dork I was… and I hope that she felt that I made her feel important too. I sometimes think back on that particular relationship and wonder why it didn’t work out. We talked about getting married when we went off to college but it never happened. As a matter of fact, the old adage that breaking up is hard to do is so true in our case. But that’s another story for another day. I just want to look back now and think about what a great relationship it was and what great times we had… and how she did so much to help me get through those years… I will never forget her.