Seniors Share Their How-I-Met Stories Finding Love in a Personal Ad
By Kay Jones
Our marriage didn’t start out like most. I found lasting love in the Personal Ads.
I moved to Greensboro from another state in 1986, having experienced a devastating divorce. I worked very long days to support my young son and myself. The few places I went for entertainment didn’t afford me the opportunity to meet anybody with whom I had time to pursue a relationship.
The personal ads in the then “Triad Style,” a local free newspaper, were interesting to read, but I was never inclined to answer one until I read the one Jerry placed in February 1989. My letter was one of the very last of the 37 replies he received.
We first met for coffee at the I-HOP and ended up staying until they closed. Time flew by so quickly that we were surprised when employees began cleaning up for the night. We sat in his truck outside the restaurant, talking far into the morning. At one point, I sang him two country songs I had recently written. Yes, I sang to him when we had just met!
When we decided to marry, I wanted my one friend to be at the wedding, but it wasn’t working out. As I sat crying out of discouragement and frustration, Jerry suggested we just go right then to the Magistrate’s office. My hope was to marry in a church, but Jerry affirmed his love for me by saying that our marriage would be special, no matter how or when the ceremony was performed. When I finally agreed, Jerry jumped up excitedly and said, “I’m running home to get dressed! I’ll be back to get you!” He was going to marry me before I changed my mind!
It was after 10 p.m. on April 11, 1990, when we arrived at the Magistrate’s office. The first sign I saw read, “NO WITNESSES PROVIDED.” Jerry said, “Don’t worry. I’ll be right back!” He came back with two uniformed police officers who were happy to volunteer. The ceremony was beautifully serene and reverent. Pictures were taken, and we set off to have our wedding supper at the restaurant where we’d had our first date. The waiter took pictures as we toasted each other with wine. The entire evening remains a priceless treasure in our memories. It couldn’t have been more special if it had taken place in a church.
We are coming up on our 28th anniversary and are as happy today as we were the day we spoke our vows. Our days together continue to be a confirmation to the rightness of our meeting.
With circumstances as they were in both our lives, we feel sure we’d never have met if he hadn’t written that personal ad!
A poem for my husband, my Prince Charming.
By Kay Jones
I’ve dreamed dreams,
And penned poems
About Cinderella and
Her heart’s longing
Thousands of words
Spoken of emptiness,
He who would rescue her,
He who would love her
As she is,
As God said he should,
And more desperately than
He ever thought possible.
I am empty of words now.
How could my words portray
…a rose more delicate?
…a sunrise more beautiful?
…a flower more fragrant?
…a God more loving?
You, my long-awaited Prince,
Encompass all of these
And much more.
I love you, Jerry.
C. Kay Jones is a Greensboro Christian singer, songwriter, and author of “Something Beautiful at the Dump,” a memoir about her personal Gethsemane and how God was miraculously compelled to come to her rescue. Kay has 4 children, 12 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. She enjoys water aerobics, writing, and attending West Friendly Baptist Church. For more information, visit www.ckayjones.com.
I Found My Love on a Bus
By Angela Johnson
I used to drive a bus for the Winston-Salem Transit Authority. This guy (who I later learned was Dana Johnson) would ride my bus almost every day. On the days he didn’t ride, my heart would melt because he wasn’t there, but of course, I couldn’t let him know that. I didn’t even know his name!
He would always sit at the back of the bus with his friend and I could just feel him staring at me, even though he was all the way in the back and I was all the way up front in the driver’s seat. I knew he was talking about me because he and his friend would look at me and start laughing out loud, and giving me “goo-goo” eyes.
Then one day he went from the back of the bus to the front and started talking to me! I could not get him to stop talking! Not only that, but he was loud! He made sure he was the last one to get off the bus. He continued to do this every day until I agreed to go out with him on a date. I didn’t really like him, but figured this was the only way to get rid of him. He was downright annoying!
But I found out that he was also fun! We dated for a year and were married in April 2016.
I have no regrets taking the chance to date that annoying man on the bus, and he often tells people, “I’m the happiest man in the world!”
Angela Johnson and her husband Dana recently opened “Happily Ever After Wedding Chapel” in downtown Winston-Salem. Read that story in this issue, page 18.
I Married My Sister’s Boyfriend
By Rosemary Freeman
At the age of 16, I did not think of dating seriously, much less of marrying.
I had dated a little, but my sister Cammie, who was nine years older, was dating a guy named Kenneth. She usually ran late, so she would send me to the living room to keep Kenneth company while she was getting dressed for her date. This went on for some time, so Ken and I became acquainted. I really didn’t think much about it. After all, he was ten years older and dating my sister.
Eventually, I noticed a “tingly” feeling when keeping Ken company. I began to be very self-conscious and somewhat shy; usually I was chatty and witty when around him. But I didn’t make much of it. At the age of 16, I wasn’t sure of my feelings. After all, this was 1962!
Cammie finally stopped dating Ken. She told me they weren’t “compatible.” I really didn’t think of Ken seriously since Cammie had dated him.
Then Cammie decided to go to the local college and sign up for some courses. I went along for the ride, having nothing better to do. With my hair in curlers, I sat in the car to wait for her to return.
Guess who came down the street? Ken! In a heartbeat, I stripped those curlers out of my hair, fluffed it up with my fingers, and waited. Ken came straight to the car and stopped. I rolled down the window and looked at him. He paused and then said, “Aren’t you Rosemary?” I replied in the affirmative, nervously, I might add.
We chatted, though I can’t remember what we said nor how long we talked. Eventually, Ken asked if I was free the upcoming Friday night. There was a football game at his former high school. Was I free? Yes! I didn’t care a hang about football, but I truly wanted to go out with him!
We went to the football game and I was so nervous I could hardly talk. When we went to eat after the game, I could hardly swallow. Edgy? You’re right! Who won the game? I have no idea. More important things were at stake.
From that time on we were a couple. I could not imagine dating anyone else. I almost shivered when Ken and I were together. No doubt about it, I was in love! In love!!
When I shared this with my sister, she only said Ken would make a fine husband. And she was right.
Two years later on a hot, but sunshiny day in July, I was about to wed the love of my life. Slowly I nervously walked down the aisle, absolutely sure that this was a wedding meant to be. Even if the marriage had came about because of my sister, who first dated my soon-to-be-husband.
Did I even have an inkling of marrying Ken in the beginning? No, but God had his hand on our lives from the first encounter.
Any regrets? Not even one!
Rosemary Freeman is a widow who lives in High Point, a graduate of High Point College (now University), whose career was in the area of counseling and social work. She has one daughter and four “grand-dogs.”