Forty Years Ago

Hello again everyone.

Life is full of anniversaries.  Good ones and bad ones.  Sometimes you know right away that people will be remembering and counting the anniversaries of one thing or another.  Other times its not so obvious right away, but as time passes the importance of the date is revealed.


Forty years ago today was one of those “right away” moments.  Its the day the Old Lady and I had our first official date.  We had met on two previous occasions.  On the first, she was on crutches, having injured herself somehow.  I was with my friend, Vince Spallo, and we were at a freshman orientation event at Rockhurst College.  Our purpose in attending the event was to check out the girls in the freshman class.

I was a senior at the time, as was Vince.  School had not yet started, and most of the upper classmen were not yet on campus.  We were bored.  So, off to Shakey’s Pizza to see some of the new freshmen women.

We had arrived and were walking down some stairs when Vince saw the Old Lady and introduced her to me.  (Apparently the Old Lady and Vince were on a first name basis.)  The Old Lady was crutching up the steps.  We said hello.  She seemed so much more interested in Vince than I.  Told us the story of her injury and we moved on.  I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the Old Lady again … unless it was as Vince’s date.

The freshman women were nothing to write home about.  The upper class women need not be worried about losing their boyfriends.

Fast forward to the Friday of Labor Day weekend.  We were having another of our many impromptu parties at the SAE house (I lived there).  The Old Lady and her wing person, Chris Mandina, came by the house on their way back to their dorm.  I suspect they were looking for Vince.  It was late, and a number of us were hanging in the front yard guzzling beer.  (That is how beer was consumed in those days.)

So up walks the Old Lady and her wing person.  She sees me (and thinking Vince must be nearby) she steps up and engages me in conversation.  It seems she had been in the house and there was a pile of dishes in sink.  When she heard I lived in the house, she had to ask about the dishes and did I really know how to cook?

“What?!!  Did I know how to cook?  You bet ya.  I cook spaghetti with sauce made from scratch, I’ll have you know.  And I can make a salad with the best of them”.  Spotting an opportunity, the Old Lady went in for the kill.  “Prove it”, she said.  And the next thing I knew, she and her wing person were coming over for dinner on Sunday.  (I wonder if this is where Sunday dinners were born?)  Not only that, I had to memorize a lengthy list of ingredients to put in the salad.  (And I may have been slightly tipsy.)


Two little words:  “Prove it!” led to forty years of friendship, countless great memories, and four beautiful, talented and compassionate young women.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “Forty Years Ago

  1. Call it lucky or blessed or both!! 40 years ago when you popped open that beer in my face and then cooked the spaghetti dinner I had no idea that I had found someone to love me as I am and be my best friend and partner. I love you Chuck❤️
    Stay tuned…….more to come💃🐌

    • I have no recollection of having popped a beer in your face. That would have been rude and I was anything but rude in the presence of young ladies like yourself.

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