Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Remembering Past Saint Patrick's Days and A Dear Friend's Birthday

This holiday also holds another special memory for me. Fifty years ago today, on March 17, 1961, I had my first date with the young man who would one day become my husband. Yes, Jim Wessely and Sally French had their first date on this day many years ago.

We went to the Sweet Sixteenth Birthday Party for Dove, the girl who actually introduced us, and set us up. I was a very shy, skinny sophomore in high school. He was a very popular senior who played football, was a class officer, and king of the girls' sock hop.

Now, I'm not sure I should kiss and tell, but he did kiss me on our very first date. Shocking, isn't it? I was a bit mortified. We went to the prom together about a month later.

Jim & Sally
Prom 1961
At about the same time as our first date, the following quote by him appeared in the school newspaper: "The perfect date for the prom for me must be cute, sweet and short." I fit the short part...I guess that is how I made the cut!

Here we are, fifty years later.  This photo was taken at a 50 year class reunion this past year.  Now  please note, I did not graduate 50 years ago.  I am much younger than my husband.  Remember, he dated me when I was just a sophomore and he was a senior.

Dove & Sally
EHS Reunion 2010
So, on this Saint Patrick's Day, I want to thank that dear friend who introduced me to the love of my life.  Thank you, Dove.  You know how much this man means to me.  He is a treasure.  Who knows if I ever would have met him if it were not for you.

  Today, is Dove's birthday.  I hope it is a happy one.  Perhaps she will go skiing in Vermont with her dear husband.  I will be thinking of her.  I never forget her sweet sixteen birthday.  We were all so young back then, but we made friendships and relationships that grow more valuable with passing day.

 Dove, the years have taken all of us down roads we never expected to travel back in 1961.  I guess that between the two of us, we could write quite a book.  We've been separated by years and by miles, but you have always been such a dear friend to me.  Happy birthday!  I hope you have many more.


  1. Happy Birthday to wonderful Dove! What a great lifelong friend. You were both an adorable couple back then and a beautiful couple now. This is such a lovely post!

  2. What a great story! Your prom picture is adorable.

  3. What a sweet story. You were a handsome couple then and still are.
    So glad you have kept in touch with the one who made it all happen.
    Sending out a "Happy Birthday" and "nice work" to your friend Dove. Love that name.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to a dear friend. And you are even better looking today than you were then, both of you look like people I would just love to sit and visit with. (I tried to change this sentence so it doesn't end with a preposition but I just couldn't figure out how!)

    You are a very fortunate person, and it's just wonderful to share the blogosphere with you!

  5. Those long and enduring friendships are the ones you can slip into like your favorite pair of house slippers--so comfortable and comforting.
    I loved the pictures--you are lucky to be so photogenic.

  6. This is such a sweet posting I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. Sally, I don't know you, but I do know that you were very lucky to have Dove as your friend. Me too.

  7. Thanks for this fun post. I like walking down memory lane, even when it is someone else's past.

  8. This is a lovely post :-) Great trip down memory lane for a beautiful couple....

  9. A sweet living memory indeed. Thanks for visiting my little bad joke and book review blog. I also have my original Troutbirder nature blog. Stop by there too sometime. :)
    btw Im married to a retired English teacher as well.

  10. Best thing I've read all day.

  11. Aww what a blessing that you have kept in touch with your friend Dove. I love that prom dress! very pretty! Blessings, Joanne

  12. Great post! Your prom picture reminds me of my own, same year, similar dress, but a one-time date. Congrats on being together for such a long time, and also on sustaining a friendship with Dove.

  13. My mom made my dress. The skirt was made out of yellow silk organdy over yellow taffeta. I think she lined the bodice which was made of lace with silk organdy. I loved the silk organdy because it had a shimmer to it. She saw a similar dress when we went prom dress shopping. She then came home and created mine using her own touches and making her own design.

    My date, Jim, brought me corsage that included a gardenia. I loved it!

    We didn't marry until 31 years after that first prom date.

  14. Oh, rats! I left my comment but forgot the verification word! Well, I said I thought it was great to have this special day to celebrate, glad you kissed and told, and thrilled you can continue to share in such a rich friendship. Only I said it better the first time!

  15. How wonderful that you have such great shared memories!

  16. My best friend introduced me to my husband!!

    Great pictures! You kissed on the first!!:)

  17. What a sweet love story. How lucky you are!

    (The girls' sock hop?! Wow, that took me back...)

  18. I found you via 'Catbird Scout' and have been sitting admiring your blog and posts for a while before I wrote to you. I too am a retired English teacher (UK based). I have joined your band of followers and look forward to reading more from you.
    Thoroughly enjoyed this post. Many happy returns to Dove and thank you for sharing such a delightful story.
    Warm wishes

  19. Oh, what a lovely story, and trip back to my high school years....beautiful couple.

    Happy birthday, Dove!!

  20. Hi Sally, Bob and I were high school sweethearts,too. We'll celebrate 52 years of "going steady" and 45 of marriage this summer. I enjoyed your post.


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