Jenny and I were born in April 1945 (19 days apart). Growing up in the suburbs of Southern California, we both experienced similar activities and events. After graduating from high school (1963) Jenny went to Fresno State College and I joined the Marine Corps.
The summer of 1966 was our first encounter. It was in Laguna Beach in front of the iconic Hotel Laguna. I was with two Marine buddies and we had just finished drinks in the “Captains Cabin,” a quiet bar in the hotel. We decided to take turns out front approaching girls on the sidewalk with our pick-up lines. We were failing big time but having fun.
Three young ladies came toward us and it was my turn . . . I stepped out and informed them they had won a “free guided tour” of Laguna Beach. They accepted the gift and we were on our way. Little did I know, Jenny’s parents owned a beach cottage there and she was very familiar with the town. We made our way through the village and ended up at the Gazebo overlook. It was a beautiful night and we stayed for a time talking and getting to know each other. Finally she said they had to get home and agreed to see me the next day. She gave me her address and we kissed!
The next day we got together again at the beach before I met Jenny’s family. I felt welcome and after some conversation we headed back to the beach. The weeks and months to follow were filled with anticipation and it was clear we had fallen in love. We exchanged letters, made phone calls and managed to survive being apart until the weekends.
Finally in October we planned a weekend trip to Northern California so Jenny could meet my family. Before we arrived I drove to a spot overlooking San Francisco Bay. It was early evening and the view was spectacular . . . I proposed and she accepted. With the engagement ring on her finger I introduced Jenny to my family. On the return trip, we discussed wedding plans. A military wedding was our preference and over the next six months we planned all the details.
On May 6, 1967, we were married at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, California. After a big church reception we headed out for our honeymoon destination, Laguna Beach.
After a short honeymoon we settled into a small apartment in Tustin, California. I returned to my assignment at the M.C.A.S. El Toro rifle range as a marksmanship instructor for ongoing re-qualification. We did manage to take a quick (five days) camping trip to Lake Tahoe during the summer. Happy times and memories.