How many men do you think can say, “My wife and I grew up together?”, or “My wife and I lived across the street from each other when we were kids?” Well, my wife and I can. Kay moved into our 8th street neighborhood in Ogden when she was three. (At least that is what she tells me because the reality is, I don’t remember a time before she lived across the street from me.) That being the case, I had to be about six. Kay was closer in age to my younger brother, Keith, so they spent more time playing together as youngsters than Kay and I did. I remember some specific incidents that I have mentioned to her already and she has sworn me to secrecy and threatened me with severe bodily harm if I was ever to divulge them (That is not really true but she asked me not to tell.) So I won’t. But we did in fact live across the street from each other. I suspect that she was probably there the day my family left our home on 8th street headed for Savannah, Georgia ( She would have been about 10 because I was 13). I am not sure about this but I recall that most of our neighborhood friends were there to say goodbye. Kay and I didn’t have much contact then until after I returned from my mission in Japan. We did have some history then. We went out together----- once! Not that I wasn’t impressed by her, because I was. I really can’t explain why we only went out once. But that was our dating experience. (We went to a movie, and recently as we drove past the site where the theater had been, she reminded me that I was stopped by a cop for speeding along the way. How incredible her memory is!) At any rate, not long after Kay and I went out on our first date, she met Carl and I met Shirlene. We got married to our respective spouses, one month apart in October and November of 1970. We recently looked into the guest book from Shirlene and my wedding and sure enough, there were signatures of Kay Nelson, Carl Bruce, Reed and Jean, Mont and Kathy Nelson. We haven’t looked at her wedding guest book but I am reasonably sure that Shirlene and I went to Kay and Carl’s wedding too (I just found out from Kay that Shirlene and I were at her wedding reception as well.).
Kay lost Carl to a Tragic accident after 34 years of Marriage. Shirlene died of cancer just before our 36th anniversary. About 6 months after Shirlene died, Kay sent me a sympathy letter. Sometime after that, we had dinner together (neither of us was willing to call it a date at the time.). We got along very well, kind of like old friends (interesting how that worked out). Conversation came very easily, much to our surprise. Over the next 18 months we continued to get along very well. We continued a long distance relationship, Kay from her home in Ogden, me from my home in Las Vegas (E-mails, IM’s, video chats, etc., really reduced the distance between us.). Since it sounds like we didn’t see each other except via the internet, I will add that I went to Ogden several times, Kay came to Vegas Several times. We saw each other on those occasions and got reacquainted through those visits. On March 21, 2008, Kay and I were married. We can indeed say that we are married to the kid from across the street. Unfortunately, we also have to say that there were nearly 38 years that lapsed between our first and second dates (a point which my new Mother-in-law has reminded me of a time or two). I can’t speak for Kay, but I can say that she has been a wonderful light in my life where there had been a lot of darkness; happiness where there had been a real feeling of loss and sadness; and fullness where there had been emptiness.
I did indeed marry the girl from across the street; the friend from the past. What a blessing she has been in my life. Thanks Kay! Love you!