Every Fall of every year the same thing happens on university campuses around the world. Autumn 1987 was no different. I was 20 years old starting my Junior Year as a Bible Major at Faulkner University. My roommate, also a Junior was spending his time singing in Cornerstone and working toward a degree in mathematics. But in the Fall as school starts fresh from Summer Break our focus was not on matters of academia, but on meeting the incoming Freshman, specifically, those of the much fairer gender.
On the agreed upon night, the night of SGA’s annual “Welcome to Faulkner: Devotional on the Capital Steps,” Jimmy (James now) invited two freshman girls to go with him and then go “flying.” I invited two others. “Flying” was a college prank that upperclassmen taught younger class students each year. “Flying” consisted of a plate glass store front that had a large mirrored surface at the back along an optical illusion of impossible acrobatics. (I learned a number of years ago, that the location of this traditional event endured a process of remodeling that eliminated “flying,” but I digress). That is when I first saw her, wearing a pink sweater with large white dots. She was one of the freshmen that came with Jimmy.
Later that night, after curfew, Jimmy and I discussed our night of “flying” and the girls we introduced to that tradition. Twenty-five plus years later, I can confess that I was interrogating Jimmy to see how deep his interest was in this one particular freshman. Nearly a month later, I finally built up enough courage to ask her out. Twenty-two months later we married. Twenty-three years later, I love her even more.
Amy, thanks for being my “Valentine” for all these years. I am looking forward to many, many, many more!