In the fall of 1968, my Dad returned from Vietnam and the Philippines, and was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. My Mom was an Army brat whose father was stationed at Fort Jackson in Columbia.
The story goes that they met while cruising and casually dated, but it was nothing serious. In fact, my Mom ended up taking some guy named Walter to a Christmas party, which made my Dad so angry he almost never called her again.
Lucky for me, he did. Several nights over the course of the following spring, he and his friends would pile into his Corvette, crank up The Doors, toss back some Jack Daniels, and drive to a little gas station halfway between Sumter and Columbia. The pay phone at this gas station was the closest place to call their girlfriends that wasn't long-distance. I don't know what my Dad said during those phone conversations, but apparently, he was a pretty smooth talker.
A few short weeks later, they were married. That was June 13th, 1969. Forty years ago today.
Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad.