I met him in February, it was just before his 28th birthday. I had just turned 19. He was tall and handsome, he had an easy laugh and his eyes were alive with compassion. It was a blind date that could have turned out either way for both of us. My pal Pat had kept insisting that I met her beau’s shipmate. When I finally gave in, it turned out to be an adventure neither one of us would ever regret.
He was in Mine Land at the time. Their motto was “Iron Men on Wooden Ships.” That was not only a catchy motto, it was what the kids today would term “hot.” He already had ten years in the Navy. I was still trying to find out who I was and what I wanted to be. If that sounds a bit “hippyish,” remember, it was 1968. You do the math.
The ’60s were turbulent times filled with excitement and misgivings, violence and great heroics. Men were still going to war, even as today. I knew the day would come when the ship would no longer be sitting port side. And so it was.
The ship went to sea soon after we met and there was much exchanging of letters and dreams between us. On his return Stateside, we discovered that the attraction was still as strong. He proposed, I accepted.
I can hardly believe that it was 44 years ago, Oct. 28. It seems like yesterday, but then I can hardly keep up with time the way it flies by. No marriage is perfect, I’ve heard it said. But ours has come pretty darned close. So, to Mac, my beloved, I love you every bit as much as I did the night we married … no, that’s wrong. I love you so much more for so many reasons it would take 44 more years to tell you exactly what they are.
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.