When Jack met Carol, he was 10 years old and she was 13. That’s when the “crush” began. In the 1950s Jack and Carol grew up together in a small northeast Louisiana town. It was a small working-class neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and no one locked their doors at night; an idyllic time to be a kid.
Junior high school in the 50s consisted of some of the same teenage angst, hormones, and drama that we see today. That being said, as time progressed Jack started liking Carol more and more. During high school, Jack’s sister had several slumber parties at their house. There were several girls there, doing what girls do at slumber parties, but Jack only had eyes for Carol. She was the only girl for him – even if she was out of his league. The “crush” continued.
Everything changed, however, one Sunday after church when Carol went off with another boy. Devastated, Jack made it through the days and weeks and months that followed; he was down, but not defeated. Carol had no interest in Jack at this time, but all through high school he knew that they were meant to be together. Time marched on and they eventually went their separate ways. But the “crush” was still there.
Time passed and both Jack and Carol grew older, got married, had kids, and moved into adulthood. Things went along great for a long while until one marriage ended, and then the other. More time passed until one day when then they started talking on the phone. It was like they had gone back in time! The “crush” was back! One phone call led to another and another and another and before long Jack was making excuses to come see Carol regularly. They began travelling some and the relationship started to really solidify. Their two hearts were literally beating as one at this point and there was only one way to keep this long-term romance going.
Fifty years after she got away from him at the church that Sunday, Jack asked Carol to marry him and she said “Yes”! Plans had to be made, but they wanted a small ceremony, because it was a second marriage for both of them and what better place than the very spot at the church where Carol went off with that other boy. I am not making this up! It really happened this way! If it sounds like a Hallmark movie, trust me – it happened just like that. To add to the fairy tale, one of Carol’s sons is an ordained minister and he performed the ceremony right there on the sidewalk of the Lakeview Baptist Church on November 26, 2015.
You will not see a happier couple no matter how far you look or how far you travel. They are the apple of each other’s eyes. They complete each other and they are the very picture of what second chances look like. And if you ask either of them – it was worth the wait. True love never ends.
Oh, by the way – Carol in this tale is my Mom and Jack is the love of her life. And the “crush” lives on.
Alan Shoalmire is a resident in Grimes County and the owner of Grill Sergeant and submits a column to the Navasota Examiner every other week.