Recently, a friend of Morgan’s asked me to tell her the story of how Ken and I met. I laughed when she said “It’s my favorite story.” Apparently the girls have told the story to their friends, and they all find it so romantic. I guess it is romantic, but to me, it’s just “our story.” In honor of Ken’s birthday this coming Friday, I thought I’d share the tale with you.
The summer after I graduated from college, I was an attendee at a national political convention. The very first day, the Maryland Delegation boarded a bus to the convention center. I was alone and did not know a soul other than my mother’s dear friend, Joyce, who helped me gain a spot within the group. I boarded the bus and watched the delegates and guests climb onto the bus and take their seats. When a nice-looking young man started down the aisle, someone from the back called his name, and I recognized the young man – he attended the same college I had and was well-known on the Shore as the youngest person to ever be elected to the Maryland Legislature. He happened to sit in front me, and never one to be shy, I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself as a fellow student at SU. Though he laughs at it now and likes to deny it, Ken told me later that he knew that very instant that he was going to marry me.
For the rest of the week, every time I turned around, Ken was there. He boarded the bus after I did, went to the same tourist attractions I visited, and was always waiting at the entrance of the convention center to “guide” me through security and onto the floor of the convention (of course, this was long before 9-11, and security was not what it is today). Ken’s campaign manager, his former high school government teacher, was his guest at the convention. Mr. Kleen (yes, that was his name, and he was tall and bald) has passed on since that week many years ago, but he loved to tell the tale of how he finally caught on to Ken’s “hurry up and wait” behavior that had the two of them arriving early each morning, only to sit and wait until Ken said it was time to board the bus. Eventually Mr. Kleen realized what was going on and became part of the game to seek me out.
On the very last day of our trip, the three of us shared a taxi to the airport. We were on different flights, but Ken had already come up with a plan to stay in touch. In those days, there were no digital cameras, of course, so Ken suggested that we exchange addresses in order to share our pictures from the convention. That began a period of letter writing in which we got to know each other from opposite sides of the state. The first time my mother met Ken, she was sure that he was going to be some old man who had the hots for her daughter. I guess I forgot to tell her that he was just a year older than I was.
Within three months, I knew I was in love. On the night before Valentine’s Day, just seven months later, Ken proposed. We were married just eight months later with special permission from my Priest to skip the one year wait period usually required by the Church. After all, the election season would be in full swing soon, and we had to take advantage of the time we had.
This October, we will have been married for twenty-two years. My, how time flies! Soon our oldest daughter will graduate from college, and we will watch as some young man sweeps her off of her feet the way her father swept me off of mine. Our beginning was every girl’s fantasy, our wedding was a true fairy tale kind of event, and our marriage has been what dreams are made of. I can only imagine what the next fifty years will bring, but I know that we will happily share them together.
Amy Schisler is an author of mystery and suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home is in its second printing and may be purchased in stores, online, and through ibooks. Her previously published children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad may be purchased in stores and on Amazon. Amy’s next mystery, Picture Me, will be released in August of 2015 and will be available in stores and online.