Conversation is a subtle art. Words joined together to make sentences that meander along paths of thought, winding around unexpected corners of love, up little hills of anxiety, and at times plunging into deep valleys of fear or despair. Sometimes participants in this art run smack-dab into an utterance that contains a treasure so wonderful… that one grabs hold of it and stuffs it in a pocket for safe keeping. Expressions to be brought out time and again to relive emotions associated with mere words. That’s how I wound up sitting on a bridge back in the late 1950’s overlooking a babbling brook.
I intended to be there just a few minutes. I wanted to pick up my guitar and grab a couple snap shots of my daddy’s antique Gibson. Many of my happy childhood memories are wrapped around that old guitar. Daddy would sing and play to relieve his stress or entertain us kids while Mom was cooking dinner. We loved when he and his brother played their guitars and my aunts would sing at family get-togethers. Then there were the times when my little sister would bring out her saxophone and my brother would tap out a beat…precious, sweet memories. We were reminiscing about those times. Talking about how he should really play for his great grandchildren more since they spend so much time at his house and our conversation began its journey.
He talked of playing the guitar when he was young… of living in the boarding house where he met my mother. He told stories of dates, of their wedding, of their first house, of jobs…stories I had heard a hundred times. Then our discussion took a little detour…to a brook located along an old country road. He had taken my mother, his two children and her daughter to visit his parents. They had only been dating six months or so…but if you would have asked my granny, she would have told you they were destined to be married.
While the children were napping my parents went for a walk. Strolling along, hand-in-hand, he said he was thinking how pretty she was, what a great personality she had, and how she treated his children with love and respect… like they were her own. When they came upon the brook they sat down on the bridge to try and skip some rocks and talk. They were looking out over the water… just talking… when she placed her hand upon his shoulder and told him how beautiful it was there.
“That was when I knew I was in trouble.” He said. “I thought to myself, uh-oh, here I go again.” It was the moment he fell in love with her.