Jo: What is 50 years of marriage? This Friday June 17, marks 50 years since Bill and I took vows at St. Bernadette Catholic Church after six years of dating. It was a regular service except that I had strep throat caught from my first year of teaching at Hayes Jr. High. My doctor fixed me with two shots of penicillin. When we got to our honeymoon in New Orleans, I finally got my first meal in a week, a hamburger. We stayed at the Burbon Orleans. I took a shower, laid down on the bed with my fluffy towel and woke the next day at one o’clock, p.m. “We missed Mass,” said I, in shock. With a smile Bill remarked, “That’s not all we missed.” New Orleans was fun.
I met Bill on February 14, 1966. The Daily Lobo took our picture at the moment we met at the student union and put it on the front page. I brought the paper home to show my Grandma Irene, saying, “See that boy? I am going to marry that boy.”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know.”
“Have you met his parents?”
“How are you going to marry him?”
“He’s a sophomore and I’m a freshman, I have three years to find him.”
And by June, we were dating. After two years, Bill went away to learn to fly jet fighters for the New Mexico Air National Guard. I became a teacher.
It took a while to rope and land that native New Mexico boy. I came to this wonderful state at 15 from Iowa, and it took me a while to figure that red and green meant chili not jello. (Editor’s note: The Iowan Mouse has yet to learn that we spell it chile, for Pete’s sake). I do not make chili as well as his mama and he did not make dough like my daddy, but he likes my cooking. He can really BBQ and is still cute.
So, how do you make 50? He traveled a lot with the Tacos, their call sign, and I did plays at Wildlife West. Rules: Kiss before you go to bed. Support in public, support at home. If you have tough times, pray. Ha! I got him Grandma, that makes me a winner. Mouse out.
Bill: Fifty HAPPY years! I’d like to share with Jo’s readers a story, a true story, which will give all of you an insight into the real Jo White. When we met down at UNM, I’d thought she looked pretty good, could certainly keep up a conversation and, I thought, seemed interested. So, I got her number from our student directory, talk about a different time. I gave her a call. She turned me down; washing her hair, grandma died, I forget the reason. I called again a few days later, same result, different excuses. Now, in those days I had a rule I would only call a girl three times. If no luck, I’d move along; wouldn’t want to be a stalker. I called once more and Jo said her family was going to Iowa the next day and she couldn’t go. Not even to just get a coke. It sounded bogus to me since she was 18 and I took this as a sign I was on the frog side, not on the prince side, of her ledger.
Fast forward a week or so and I got a postcard from Iowa. Jo had gotten my address from… the student directory. This definitely showed interest, so I broke my rule and called her a fourth time. I phoned on the date she said she was returning home. We went out, had a great time, and the rest is history. A fairy tale ending, and I was a prince, not a frog, after all.
Except… I found out much later that she had not just mailed one post card from Iowa. She had mailed five different cards to five different boys. Each had a different date when she’d return. Clever! And the worst part? I wasn’t even Number One. I was #3. So now you know how Jo operates. Beware! It’s been a good long run. Bill, husband to the Roaring Mouse.