We were both students at Gordon Cooper Vo-tech. She was taking studies in secretarial skills, while I was studying electronics. We went in the mornings, and so when Vo-tech let out there was a mad dash to get some lunch and then rush back to Shawnee High for afternoon classes. I had a 1963 Impala. This car had no curb appeal. It was a 4-door Brown sedan formerly owned by an OKC school teacher who sold it to my dad for $300. But it was a beast under the hood! It had the famous Chevy 327 ci V-8 with 4 barrel carb and Powerglide tranny. That car would get up and go. A real sleeper! Kathy drove a 1964 Blue Chevy Impala and each day we had a race back to the high school. That daily race turned into a romance and that romance turned into a marriage which 37 years later is still as fun as those Vo-tech days.
We were married right out high school. I was 18, she was 19, and my parents had to sign for me to get married. Back in those days, premarital counseling was essentially an hour long talk with the pastor before you were married. All we needed was love, right? No, we could have used some preparation for marriage. Kathy grew up in a family where there were pretty good lines of communication and conflict was dealt with in positive ways. On the other hand, I grew up in a family where those basic skills were lacking in many ways, so I came into our marriage with a lot of avoidance. I was one of those submarine husbands when conflict came about, I would go deep and go silent. Avoidance was my way of dealing with conflict. It was a way, but not a good or positive way.
Like every other couple who have every been married, we have had our ups and downs, and I must add way more ups than downs, but we have discovered that no perfects this thing called marriage. It is always a "work in progress." Even after 37 years we must still be learning and being reminded of what works and what doesn't. We both understood that those words in marriage vows, "till death do us part," really meant that we were now in a covenant with each other and with God.
I may not be racing cars any more, but I can tell you that my heart still races when I look at that cute little brunette named Kathy.