Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010

My Valentine

It does not seem possible that Jean and I met almost 56 years ago this coming May. Jean grew up on a farm near Colo, IA, a farming community in north central Iowa of about 800 residents. I grew up in Colfax, a farm-to-market town 30 miles south of around 2,500 residents. A farm-to-market town was much larger and attracted more shoppers than a farming community town because there were things to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

Jean’s grandparents lived in Colfax and her family visited some weekends with them. She was also friends with one of my classmates. One Sunday, I noticed my classmate in a soda shop with this very pretty girl and I wrangled an introduction. This was in early May, 1954. I got her name and address (at that time just her name Jean Manley, and Colo, IA, got a letter to her). My High School graduation was on May 24 and I knew from a letter that I received back, that she would be there to see her friend graduate. I crossed my fingers, called, and asked her for a date. My fingers worked.

Our first date was on May 24, 1954 and we went to the city of Des Moines, IA, about 25 miles away, with a cousin of mine and his date who had also graduated. We went to a place called Mama’s Pizza Place. Now, in 1954, and having lived a sheltered life, neither of us had any idea what Pizza was and decided that whatever it was, we didn’t like it upon tasting. Of course, that has changed.

Three years and three months later, we were married. Jean had graduated with a 2-year teaching degree and I was a journeyman printer. We started our married lives in Iowa Falls in north central Iowa. She taught fourth grade and I worked on a newspaper. In our second year of marriage, we decided that I should go to college (four years after HS graduation). I went two years to Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls then we moved to Cedar Falls where we both attended Iowa State Teacher’s College (now the University of Northern Iowa) and both graduated in 1962. During those two years, we also had a daughter, Christine Ann who was followed four years later by our son, Jaimie.

I won’t bore you with more of our life story. I just want Jean to know that when she said yes, she made my heart and my life complete. She is my wife, the love of my life, and my best friend. Since our 50th anniversary in 2007, there have not been many mornings that we have not kissed and said, “Good morning, I love you, and happy anniversary.” At this point in our lives, every day is an anniversary, and every day is special with my Jean.

 Friends (?) decorate our 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible at our wedding.

These are for all you ladies out there!
And, while you enjoy your roses, listen to the incomparable 
Frank Sinatra!
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Jeff Hundt
(Please send us your address) 

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