My husband and I not only celebrate Thanksgiving,
we also give thanks for our 1st date…
We were “fixed up” by our dear friends, Sharon and Gordon, 45 years ago last night.
At the time, Jordy, his familial nick name, was “Mr. Jordan the Steakman,”
who was selling frozen steaks out of the trunk of his car to finance his attendance
as a freshman at Northwestern University Law School.
I was a sophomore at Ohio State University and was home for Thanksgiving vacation.
Jordy had received 4 tickets to the Chicago Blackhawks hockey game
from one of the owners of Houston Meat Company where he bought his boxes of steaks.
Since, it was Thanksgiving and the owner had to be home with his family, he offered Jordy the tickets. Jordy called his friend Gordy, who had been his roommate at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and asked him if he want to go to the hockey game after his family Thanksgiving dinner.
Gordy, asked if he could bring his fiancé, Sharon.
Jordy, said, OK and asked if Sharon had a girlfriend who could come along as his date.
Gordy said he would talk to Sharon.
Sharon called me and asked me if I wanted to double date to the hockey game.
I said yes, because it sounded like fun, plus I would get to see her and Gordy.
A few minutes later, Jordy called to formally ask me out… we did that in the 60’s… and filled me in on the details, and I gave him directions to my house.
After a lovely holiday dinner with our entire family, which included a gathering of my aunts, uncles and cousins, I went upstairs to get ready for my “blind date.” I remember borrowing my mother’s brand new vicuna wool suit, because I didn’t bring any “going out” clothes home from college.
While, I was getting dressed Jordy arrived early and met my entire family. My mother came up to my bedroom to let me know he was downstairs. She said, “He seems like a nice young man, but I don’t think you are going to like his haircut.” When asked why, she replied, “He’s wearing a crew cut.” The 1950’s Flat Top Crew Cut had gone out of style, this was 1964!
When I walked in to our family room and saw Jordy, I thought he was cute and his hair cut was old fashioned.
Jordy, always says that when he saw me walk into the family, he thought that’s the girl I’m going to marry… it was “love at first sight.”
Jordan (without his crew cut) and I circa April 1966
Sharon and Gordy met us at my house and we drove to the Chicago Stadium, now replaced by the United Center, for the hockey game. We had lots of fun sitting in the last balcony, despite the fans getting drunk and throwing chairs at one another.
After the game we drove to Cafe La’Tour, an elegant French restaurant on the top floor of the Outer Drive East building, which was located at the edge of Lake Michigan with a gorgeous skyline view of Chicago.
We had a lovely evening and the Jordy drove me home. At the door, he asked for my key, opened the door (ah, chivalry) and we said good night… there was no good night kiss on the first date.
Five minutes later the front door bell rang. I went to the front door and there stood Jordy, with a puzzling look on his face.
I asked him to come in and discovered that the car, a 1962 white Ford Falcon, which he had borrowed from his mother, had a flat tire and there was no spare in the trunk. He had borrowed the car because his 1956 Chevy only started with at fork in the carburetor, and he didn’t think that car would make a good or safe impression on me.
When my mother heard our conversation, she came downstairs to see what was wrong. Jordy asked if there was a gas station near by that was open. She told him the gas stations in River Forest were not open at 1:00 in the morning, as they are in the city (Chicago). But, he was welcome to stay in the maid’s room, since she was at home with her family.
You could say that Jordy and I didn’t kiss on our first date…
but we did sleep together (separately in the same house).
The next morning, my mother fixed Jordy breakfast, and I politely accompanied him outside, on a cold, damp and drizzly morning, to hold an umbrella and keep him dry, as he changed the flat tire.
After the tire was fixed Jordy thanked my mother and me for our hospitality and headed home to prepare for his Friday night steak route.
Later that afternoon, two dozen long stem red roses arrived, one for my mother and one for me.
My enclosure card read:
“Dear Sheila, How about New Years Eve? Jordy.”
Yes, we did go out on New Years Eve!
Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, Jordy gives me a dozen long stemmed red rose and asks me out for New years Eve!
This year, November 26th, we celebrated our 45th anniversary of our first date on November 26 1964, with a dozen long stemmed red roses and a card asking me out for New years Eve.
Through the years our love has grown, out lives have changed,
and our “Day After Thanksgiving Tradition” continues!
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