In March of 1962 in California, I took a picture of myself in a four-for-a-quarter photo booth at the Santa Monica Pier. When I showed it to my neighbor, her sailor boyfriend, Larry, asked if he could take the picture back to Port Hueneme Naval Base in Oxnard, California, to show two brothers who he thought would like to meet me.
The following weekend, Larry brought me a picture of both brothers and told me that they both wanted to meet me and to choose. I chose Carl.
Shortly after we met, Carl took me to my sweet 16 birthday party. We began seeing each other on his weekend liberties. I wasn’t really allowed to date, so we watched television or did things with friends.
Carl would hitchhike to come visit me. It would take him several hours to get to my home. One evening, after he had hitchhiked from Port Hueneme, he called me from the corner telephone booth and asked if he could come see me. It was after my 9 p.m. curfew, so my father said no. Of course, my world ended, and I cried a bucket of tears.
A few minutes later, I heard something hitting the sliding glass door on the balcony of my second-story room. I went outside on the balcony, and there was this handsome sailor tossing pebbles. I told him to stop because he was going to get me in trouble.
Carl said that he had come all this way and wasn’t leaving without a kiss. I told him that I could not come downstairs, so I waved goodbye and went inside. Soon something hit the sliding glass door again, but harder and louder.
I went outside, and there was Carl, hanging from the balcony railing, saying he was not leaving without a kiss! I bent down and gave him a kiss. He dropped to the ground, headed for the street, and stuck out his thumb for his long trip back to base.
A little over two years later, on August 15, 1964, we married. I am thankful Carl tossed those pebbles at my door that night.
Even though he no longer tosses pebbles, I am still giving him those kisses.