We’re excited to announce the two winners of this year’s Best Love Story contest: David Liddle and Geraldine Weisgerber.
Life With Julia, A Love Story. How We Met.
By David Liddle
It was 1962 and I was on a Baltic cruise of youth group leaders. The very non-luxury ancient ship the M.S. Dunera was to be our home for 10 days, but to a 20-year-old British boy on his first adventure, it was a fine vessel.
My first view of Julia was on our second day. She was dancing on deck, her mouth formed an “O,” her red hair piled on top of her head and tumbling untidily down all around her beautiful face and shoulders. As we romantics say, she was “the girl of my dreams” and obviously out of my league.
She was having a ball, dancing up a storm. I couldn’t dance. I would have to learn to dance today.
The next day we were in Leningrad at the Kirov ballet. And seated in front of me was Julia! I leaned forward and said, “Excuse me, can you tell me where the program seller is?” The pickup line of the century! As she said later, “Like you’d be able to read it.”
The next day I was sitting on the deck talking to Julia in the hot sun. At 2:00, the bar on the deck opened for an hour to sell beer and I said to Julia, “Wow it is really hot, I’d love to have a cold beer but I’m not going to stand in line for half an hour when I could be talking to you.” She got up, walked to the front of the line and asked the first guy in line to buy her a beer. He must have thought his luck had changed, with the most beautiful girl on the ship asking him to buy her a beer. She thanked him and brought me the beer.
I remember thinking, “This is the girl for me. Free beer and I don’t even have to get up.”
Julia had been traveling all over Europe with her parents since she was 4 years old. She showed me around Oslo, Stockholm, and four days later, Copenhagen, where I asked her, in front of “The Little Mermaid,” to marry me.
Being a well-brought-up young lady, she of course said “no” that time.
Meanwhile, even before I had asked her to marry me, I had sent a postcard to my parents in England informing them that, “I have met the girl I am going to marry.” Goodness knows what they thought when they got that postcard!
When I met Julia’s mother for the time, Julia introduced me, saying, “Mummy, this is David.” Her mother said, “Not another David.” Julia had a lot of boyfriends.
When I asked her again, two month later, to marry me, she said, “Yes. I thought you were never going to ask me again. A well-brought-up young lady never says yes the first time, especially after only four days.” She then admitted that she had been tempted to say yes the first time I had asked her.
We were happily married for 55 years before Julia died last year. We spent four years fighting her cancer. But we spent 55 years indulging our hobby of traveling. We visited 90 countries, taking our daughter Sarah with us to many of the places we visited and lived in, and having lots of adventures and near escapes in exotic places.
But those are stories for another time.
Our Love Story
By Geraldine Weisgerber
He was 22, so handsome in his fuchsia bathing suit and dark suntan. I was 14, watching him from the large screened-in porch at my grandmother’s shore. He was staying at the house next door for the weekend. Something inside of me was saying, “One day is going to mean something to you.”
The only thing I knew about him was his name, Henry. I watched as he sat under a tree and talked with the man next door. They talked of horses. “Thomas Pepper,” “Sweet Naomi,” etc. It was obvious that they visited the track often. Just to get a reaction, I put the record “Dance With Me Henry” on our small, red record player. He completely ignored that, probably thinking it was one of the brats next door.
Time passed. I was 18. My sister, her friend and I were going on a triple date. When I found out that one of the guys was Henry, I splurged and bought a classy black and white dress and matching shoes. We were going out Saturday night and meeting at our house. When my sister’s friend arrived, I was horrified. She was wearing a dress almost identical to mine, only hers fit tighter. That night, Henry took her home. Heartbroken, I threw my shoes across the room, thinking, “Well if that’s the girl he wants, he can have her.”
Time passed and the company I worked for was having a midnight cruise. OK, one last try. Nervously, I called Henry’s house. His mother answered. I asked if I could speak to Henry. She called him and when he said “hello,” I asked if he would be interested in going on the cruise with me. He said, “I think you’ve got the wrong Henry.” Dear God, it was his father and I had just asked him for a date. How was I to know that he was a junior? When Henry Jr. answered, he said he would like to go.
The best night ever. Three dates later - our first kiss. One year later we were married and had 60 wonderful years together. Two years ago, he was called to heaven. I miss him very much, but I enjoyed remembering.