We met during those crazy times as the 60s morphed into the riotous early 70s. In college I was an education major and excitedly promoted teaching experiments. My philosophy did not set well with the very conservative elementary education department. I was asked to change majors. As a result, I was unsure of what I would do next, or whether I would even finish college. I decided to scramble for jobs to pay off the student loan.
In the early 1970s, I first met Judy Dale when I went looking for work. She headed the YW/MCA at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Judy interviewed me to run an alternative education program for adjudicated youths. She was always willing to interview people who marched to a different drummer. I got hired and the changes I made in the program went on to receive recognition.
Over time we fell into a poetic-love and got married. And in an ironic twist, we both eventually entered secondary education, where we both went on to win awards for our teaching.
Judy took a chance on me when few others would. Last August we celebrated our 30th anniversary. So I guess she is what we call a successful risk-taker. We’ve lived through career changes, job losses, family losses, cancers, and various health challenges. We also supported one another in taking risks in writing and art and sports. We’ve even “survived” remodeling together. And now in retirement she reads books out loud to me, plans trips, and urges me onwards.
Over the years, we’ve spent lavishly on each other-our cash being time, talk, and gifts. It’s been glorious fun. I never had a better friend, never loved someone as much as her. She is my perpetual valentine.