J and I first met in 1974, when I worked in the credit union down the street from his job at the hardware store. The first Friday night he came in to cash his check, I was hooked. He says he was too, although it took two years for us to date. J's story is that was because he knew we would get married and he wasn't ready yet. I left that job and worked one year as an aide at an elementary school where his mother was a teacher's aide, and his brother-in-law taught 5th grade. So I got to know them before I went back to the credit union, and walked past him every day to get a soda from the corner store. J would just happen to be out on the front step most days to say hi.
Our first date was his store's Christmas party, and I believe the only reason he was finally pushed to ask me was that another guy who worked there said he was going to. A couple of weeks later he called again, and that was it, we were engaged by St. Patrick's Day. For such a romantic guy (and he is mushy) the (first) proposal was anything but. Sitting in his truck outside my house, he asked me if I liked camping (yes), kids (yes), and spaghetti(no), then concluded 2 out of 3 wasn't bad. J then stated: "We've been spending a lot of time together. Maybe we should break up?"
Me: "Do you want to break up?"
J: "No. Do you?"
J: "So, do you want to get married then?"
Me: "That's not the kind of thing you ask after drinking so many beers. You better go home" (Note- Apparently I didn't think he was too drunk to drive home, but I worried that he would forget that he had asked me. How embarrassing would that be?)
When I told my mother about this, she almost died: "You didn't say yes?!" (I was 23 and she was worried about old maidage) I told her not to worry, he would ask me again. And he did.
And immediately said "We don't have to tell anyone right away."
After straightening out that he just wanted to enjoy stringing his eager family and coworkers along a bit:
Me: "Okay, when do you want to get married?"
Me: "How about July?"
We couldn't do the cool 7-7-77 date because it wasn't a Sunday. And we chose to get married on a Sunday because of J's boss. The hardware store was open 6 days a week, and Everett didn't want to have to close so everyone could attend the wedding. He made an offer we couldn't refuse.
Fast forward to Saturday and our ride. We drove east, then south along the Kennebec River, and found some roads we'd never been on. I remembered to take the camera, but J isn't very good about slowing down for photo ops. That's okay, the windshield contributes to the road trip vibe. Some cool silos. Papa, Mama and baby sizes.
Over the river in Richmond.
Woolwich, I think? J says these are buoys, but I prefer to think of them as unexploded mines.
Back over the river- I tell you, it was a gorgeous day and there were lots of nice shots that got away! This is what I was able to get.
Okay, now in the interest of national security, I cannot tell you where or what these next shots are. Suffice it to say that J worked here for 15 years- well, his working period covered 15 years, but with several layoffs and a strike, he probably worked about 12 and half of the years.
As I was photographing the
drydock skyline, I commented that I hoped taking pictures wasn't illegal. It was then that J noticed the purple sign stating no pictures were allowed. We quickly left, taking the back roads to shake off any tails. I must admit, I struggled with this since I am a rule follower, but what the heck, I am sure my readers are not troublemakers. Right?
We then zipped back up to Augusta for some food, along the way passing a snazzy little red sports car.( Obviously, this is not my picture)
J: "When I win the lottery, that's what I want!"
Me: "Well, you'd have to ride in it alone, because I couldn't get in or out of that thing"
J: "Babe, if I drove that, I wouldn't be alone"
Stopping by the grocery store later, we parked right next to a similar car. J takes a good look.
J: "Hon, you could get out of that car"
Me:"Kicking me out before you even get one?"
It was a good day.