I graduated from high school in 1951 in Caddo Mills, Texas. That fall I registered for college at East Texas College in Commerce, Texas. During that time, I met a girl in Greenville, Texas and we dated for a while. At this time, the draft for the military was in place and...I enlisted in the Army of Engineers.
I returned to Caddo Mills after the first eight weeks of boot camp and continued to date the girl from Greenville. I was transferred to Fort Leonardwood in Missouri. My parents came to Fort Leonardwood and brought the girl I was dating. From there I was transferred to Fort Belvoir, Virginia for additional training. From there I was transferred to Germany. While in Germany I received a "Dear John" letter from the girl I had been dating. Evidently, she would not wait for me.
I was discharged from the Army in 1957 and returned to Caddo Mills. I reentered college that year. In one of the first classes I attended that first semester - an English class - I noticed two girls sitting in the front row. Even then I was not too interested in dating, remembering my experience while in the Army. I did remember that I thought one of the girls was cute. The next semester, again in an English class, when I entered the class for the first time, I noticed one of those two young ladies - the cute one - sitting by herself. I went and sat beside her and began to talk to her. We talked many times after class during that semester. We sat together in the library studying, went for coffee sometimes, and started to date.
She and her sister were living in a house off campus. I proposed to her sitting in the porch swing on the front porch of that house one evening after we had returned from a date. The next day, I drove back home to Caddo Mills and borrowed money from the bank and then drove to Dallas to purchase a ring. I gave it to her just before we went into the Baptist Student Union for a Bible Study.
The study was at this point going along okay until one of the other girls in the class noticed the ring on my lady's hand. Things got very out of hand then. My lady's name is Eva Dean. She goes by Dean. She left school and returned to Sherman, Texas to work, while I finished my degree. I drove to Sherman many weekends during that time. I graduated on May 24th of 1959 and we were married on May 30th of that year, and have been married for 51 years. We have two children, a girl and a boy, both married to wonderful mates.
(A sideline to this story - when my son was in junior high school, he came home one day and said there was a teacher in the school that I had dated in Caddo Mills. When my wife and I went to the open house at the school, I met this teacher and she was the "Dear John" girl from Greenville that I had first dated in college!)
I do not know if my story will fit in your True Romance column, but I believe this lady was sent to me by God. We have been through some tough times, but she looks as beautiful today as the day I married her.
Here is my parents' wedding picture.
Soon after my dad sent the letter, the columnist called him and spoke to both my parents and asked for a then and now picture. I'll let you know if it gets printed up in the paper. So what do you think? Is this a true romance story or what?!