a nerdy jock, a bold songleader and a proud mary

A lithe, spunky strawberry blond song leader took a break from her rah rah duties during the varsity football team’s huddle. Out of the corner of her eye she spied an un-suited player who had been spying her too. She couldn’t help but notice him really; he stood out like a sore thumb. Not only because he was 6’6″ and the skinniest guy on the sidelines, but also because of his full arm-length cast which held his arm up at a ninety degree angle so that his hand was on par with his head.

Though she knew full well he wasn’t her type, he was one of those nerdy bookish boys that aced history exams and listened to Dixieland, something compelled her to approach him. Maybe it was sympathy. Poor guy had to walk around campus looking like a doofus,complete with black rimmed glasses and a clarinet case in his non-injured hand. But more likely, it was the twinge of butterfly wings she felt flitting about in her stomach whenever she saw him.

It was 1949 and though the women’s lib movement was still several years off, she knew the Sadie Hawkin’s dance was right around the corner. Perfect timing.

A few week’s later, Evangeline, the sassy song leader they called Vangie, escorted the band-geek bench-warmer known as Dickie, to their senior year Sadie Hawkins dance. A sweet romance was born. For awhile they went steady, but the timing was not-so-perfect. As graduation day neared, their affections petered out. They bid adieu to their senior class, and to each other.

Twenty years later, at their high school reunion, Dick and Vangie reconnected. In the two elapsed decades, they had both married other people, had kids, and ended their respective marriages in divorce. On that fateful night in 1969, Dick and Vangie, once again both single, danced the night away to the Billboard hit Proud Mary and left arm in healed arm. It was perfect timing.

Three years later, I was born.


I wrote this post based on the stories I have heard over the years of my parents and how they met and reconnected. I felt the story was apropos considering I am headed off to my 20th reunion tomorrow. Though I am not single and looking to reconnect, for obvious reasons, I have a special place in my heart for the American tradition of high school reunions.

Now bring on the 80’s music!



  1. 1
    melissa says:

    love it!!

    have fun!!

  2. 2

    GREAT story, Mary – and you told it so well!!

  3. 3
    Christina says:

    Gave me the chills!
    Have a blast this weekend xoxo

  4. 4

    That is awesome!!!! I hope you have a blast dancing the night away this weekend!!

  5. 5
    Chelsea says:

    What a freaking awesome story!

  6. 6
    Ramona says:

    What a cool story….however there are people who break up marriages at their reunions….at mine 2 people ended up getting divorced because of a tryst on night 1 of the reunion…unfortunately not all people are as classy as your mom and dad who were both unattached at the time…. we had people who got back together at the 10th, and then were divorced and married by the 20th…..too funny but sad for those partners that had no clue! A guess a first love never dies…

  7. 7

    That is so beautiful. Their story, and yours, could be a movie! Very magical.

  8. 8
    Melody says:

    Very, very cool story, yeah I could see that as a Hallmark movie :) I just went to my 20th too. Have a terrific time!

  9. 9
    StacyQ says:

    That is such a SWEET story!!!

  10. 10
    Helena says:

    This gave me chills. You are an excellent writer.

  11. 11
    MomZombie says:

    You know what I love even more than reading this story? The way you wrote it. I did not go to my 20th reunion because my first love was there waiting for me. As much as I was curious, it seemed like a bad, bad move to go.

  12. 12
    Benjie says:

    Aww Mar- Totally made me well up!

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