I've told this story a thousand times, but if you don't mind, I need to talk about it again. June 21, 1973, was a wonderful day for me, in that my friends Sam and Maura, with Sam's birthday party just days away, wanted to me show up with a "decent" date for once, so they fixed me up on a blind date that started that evening and has really never ended.
That's how I look at this long, happy love affair in which Peggy and I find ourselves embroiled...it began with a look, and I fell in love the minute I clambered into her kitchen for the introduction. I said, this is the woman I am going to marry and love forever, although I was wise enough not to say so out loud. People regard such proclamations in a wary manner when one has just met a person. I kept my own counsel, and managed not to say anything about getting married and being together forever and riding around in a succession of pickup trucks and buying our dream houses and enjoying the hell out of everything and everyone and, more than anything, being in love forever.
I knew it would happen. So, that was Thursday night that we met, and bluebirds fluttered around chirping happily that evening, and then the next night we went to Sam's party but only had eyes for each other, and then I went back to work in fashionable Salisbury, MD, the legendary home of chicken magnate Frank Perdue. I was one of about two dozen people in Salisbury who didn't work for that chicken plucker. I was a DJ. I played music on the radio and cracked wise in between songs and commercials for "Mickey and Rene Butta's Salisbury Automatic Transmission" and the Lions Club Chick-N-Bar-B-Q.
And Sunday night after work I came home to my fashionable bachelor apartment on the banks of the lovely DelMar drainage basin and called Peggy at 3 o'clock in the morning to ask her to marry me.
And she said yes! And my heart still leaps!
Thank you, Peggy, for loving me and for marrying me and all! I'll admit to being a big ol' handful o' commotion sometimes, and my zest for living, laughing and loving must be a cold shock to the system of someone so genteel, so graceful as you. People say Peggy is so sweet and kind and reserved, and then the same people say that opposites attract.
Hey, wait a minute.
Alls I knows is, 38 years later, here we are, our circle of love ever expanding. Thank you, friends, for hugging us within that circle, and thank you, Peggy, for forming it with me.
I love you! 38 years on the way to together forever!