Sunday, February 15, 2009
How We Met
In the Fall of 1967 I came back to BYU for my second year with the intention of entering the mission field at the conclusion of the Spring semester. Meeting my eternal companion and the love of my life was far from my mind.
The previous Spring, however, I had joined an on-campus club, “Young Men” and there was a party scheduled for a Friday night soon after the beginning of the semester. I was required to bring a date, but I had no prospects whatsoever. My new roommate, Merrill Blair, older by 10 years or so that any of us, suggested that I ask Belann Hansen from our ward. I assured him she would certainly turn me down. She was far too attractive to agree to go out with me.
I postponed asking anyone, believing that problems certainly go away if they are ignored, until the very night before. In desperation, and expecting the worst, I finally called Belann, asking her if she would consider going with me to the club party at Bridal Veil Falls. To my utter astonishment, she said yes.
We rode to the party with my friend, Fred Hansen (no relation) crammed in the back of his yellow Carman Ghia, which nearly cost us our lives. Fred had to take the winding road at no less than 60 miles per hour, using both lanes to straighten out every curve. When we got to the base of the falls, we boarded the tram for the ride to the top for dancing, pizza, and soda. Fred insisted on riding on top of the tram. We decided his death wish was serious, and maybe his recklessness would necessitate our finding another ride back down the mountain.
The date went well and we had a good time, all things considered, and I felt I had dodged a bullet, filling my club obligation. She was gracious and kind to a bumbling fool who called and asked her the night before, which violated every social rule at BYU. I figured that was the end of that.
How surprised I was when I ran into her on campus the following Monday and nearly did not recognize her. She had dyed her hair from blond to brunette after our date. For some reason, I was emboldened to ask her out for the following weekend to see the Sidney Poitier movie “To Sir With Love”, and she said, “I would love to”. We talked about teaching, which turned out to be her passion. From that point, our friendship deepened, and within a few months, we found ourselves irreversibly in love.
My sophomore year was turning out to be a great year date wise, as opposed to the lame dating year as a freshman. I had met a couple of cool guys and I had had a few interesting dates. The weekend was approaching though, and I only had one date for the weekend. Then Terry called. I was thrilled to go with him. I had seen him at an apartment party, and I thought he was really cute. Besides that, then I would have both weekend nights filled.
Our trip up the canyon was as exciting as Terry described. I kind of enjoyed being stuffed in the back with Terry on the way up. He really was good looking, and he seemed to be interesting to talk to.
I loved the party at the clubhouse on top of Bridal Veil Falls. (It really is a shame they didn’t develop the whole Bridal Veil Falls resort further.) It was such a romantic date to ride up to the top of the falls in the dark, and then have a party at clubhouse at the top of the falls.) Unlike my mother, I didn’t hear any voice except the voice in my own head that told me I really liked being with Terry, and that I wouldn’t mind if he asked me out again. Had I known he hadn’t served a mission at that point, however, I would have forgotten the whole thing. I had already waited for a missionary, and found out he was a different person when he got home—really weird. I certainly didn’t want any more of that. But, before I knew, I was totally “smitten.” I really did like being with this guy. Pretty soon, we were inseparable. We would sit in the Wilkinson Center music listening room and just look in each other’s eyes while listening to Tony Bennett and Nancy Wilson, or go rock skipping. Nothing fancy, being together was enough. And, in my mind nothing has changed. I still love looking in his eyes—being together is enough.