The story of us – the original Hallmark Movie
A friend of ours wished my wife and me a happy forty year anniversary for the day we met. May 4th, 1980. She said that we were like a Hallmark Movie. Little did she know?
I think we actually pioneered the whole genre of the Hallmark movie recipe.
Boy and girl both grow up less than ten miles from each other but never meet. Their paths almost intersect numerous times. He was baptized and spent early years in a church just a few blocks away from where she lived. She used to come with her family to get ice cream at the dairy store just down the street from where he lived. They both leave their home towns and strike out on their own. It was fate that they met at all. She had come home from her Virginian Beach home to attend her father’s funeral. He was stationed in another part of Virginia building a new submarine. They had both been through a lot of broken relationships and had nearly given up on love. But he was also home that weekend seeing his parents. On Sunday afternoon before he went to fly back he told his mother “If I ever meet a blond haired blue eyed girl who laughs like you do, I will think about getting married again”. Of course, he never dated blonde haired girls in his whole life. Then they both end up on the same plane. There was only two empty seats left on the plane and both were next to where he was sitting. He saw her coming down the aisle. Cue the romantic music. He was on the aisle and got up to let her sit. Window seat. Still one empty seat. What are the odds? The door in the front of the plane closes and that seat remains empty. The flight to Norfolk was not that long. The young man started the conversation and the hour long plane ride to Norfolk went faster than ever before. At the last moment, he asks for a phone number. The only thing he had to write on was a piece of paper with a friends name on the other side. She wrote her number… time to go to a commercial now…
As the second scene opens, he is in his apartment in Newport News. He dials the number and it actually works. How about a dinner and a movie? She reluctantly agrees… somewhere in the back of her mind, she is not wanting to get into a relationship with a sailor… no less one who is younger than her and from McKeesport of all places. But she agrees. Dinner was at a steakhouse called Mountain Jacks. The theater was not far and the movie was Kramer versus Kramer. Towards the end of the movie, the beautiful blonde was suddenly ill. Like wildly ill. Enough that she left him sitting in the movie alone. The drive back was quiet. The end of the date was a peck on the cheek… for obvious reasons… that should have been the end… but this is a hallmark movie after all. We just cut to the next commercial.
A few weeks later, the young man goes home again and visits some old friends and places he worked. At the first stop, he went to the recruiter’s office for the Navy to say thanks to the man who helped him get back on active duty. Sitting there was a young man whose name was Anderson. By a sheer coincidence, it was her brother Arnold. That was strange. The next stop was to the hardware store the young man had worked at. He met another young man working in his old department named Anderson. Andy was another of her brothers. To be fair, if he had stayed in McKeesport much longer, he may have met others from the seven brothers and sisters she had. But here is where the plot twist kicks in. The brothers he met got home that evening and compared notes. The story they concocted was that they had met their sister’s new boyfriend. And of course they called her. Remember that part about not wanting to get involved with a sailor? Well, when the young man got back to his Mom’s a phone message to call her was waiting. She was not a happy person. Why was he running around telling her family that he was a boyfriend???
Thinking quickly, he apologized and said that he had said no such thing, But to make it up to her, how about one last dinner date. Just something to show her that no hard feelings existed. What harm could that do? After the commercial break, we find the young couple at a restaurant in Virginia Beach. Both share their stories and disappointments. The conversation is smooth and easy this time. The barriers start to fall. The “date” stretches long into the evening and is followed by a long moon lit night on the beach, barefoot and unaware of the time. They end up back at her place. This is a Hallmark movie so I will stop there. But their story didn’t. Love grew amazingly fast from that point and in August of 1980, the happy couple married and left on their honeymoon driving a U haul truck.
Yes. You are right. Should have been a Hallmark movie.