Thirty-one years ago today, in a rain-soaked park in Oregon, Joanne and I were huddled under a small shelter with our friends and families.
I was wearing a black velvet suit I'd picked up at the Squire Shop in the Lancaster Mall. Joanne was wearing a long white Gunny Sack dress and looked fantastic.
College buddies played "Here Comes the Sun" on guitar and a borrowed pump organ.
Eleven months earlier, Joanne and I had been among half a dozen students who gathered in Dr. Frazee's office for his course in the Development of Christian Thought. By coincidence, we showed up in similar ski sweaters on the same day, and Joanne was amazed when it kept happening, week after week, on different days.
She never suspected that I might have seen her on campus earlier and run back to my dorm to change.
What can I say? Sometimes fate can use a helping hand.
In the park, with the rain still coming down, it was Dr. Frazee -- a bald, robust, and joyous man -- who stood before us now with the power to pronounce us husband and wife.
Joanne had earned her art degree a couple of months earlier and was working in the office of Chuck Colvin Ford in McMinnville (home of Linfield College, where we met). I still had a semester to go and had a summer job sorting the empty bottles that came back to the Coca-Cola plant in Salem. Nothing about our future was set except one thing ...
We placed plain gold bands around each other's fingers and promised to love each other for the rest of our lives.