… in a middle class suburb in East Dallas, called Pleasant Grove, my family went to church just a few streets over from where we lived…at a little missionary Baptist church called Sunnyvale Baptist. I really didn’t think that church had a big impact on me back then. Boy! Was I ever wrong…in so many ways!
I met my best friend Deirdre at that church. We later went to jr. high and high school together. Little did I know that I would marry someone from the church. Dei and I were part of the youth group but we were the youngest ones. Our little youth group averaged 13 to 18 yrs. old. I still remember going skating and watching the older boys whirl around the rink on their skates. Oh, those were the days! LOL Those boys didn’t even notice little girls like me and Dei. We were 13 and they were 17 and 18. (Ricky Stout was one those older boys. :))
My mom had a good friend at the church, Betty Stout, now my beloved mother in law. Betty had two sons, Ricky and Ronnie and I went to school with Ronnie… he was a grade behind me, but was involved in some of the same activities as me like choir and drama. One night, at a play that my current boyfriend was in, I sat in the seat in front of Ricky Stout. I asked him if he remembered me (after all it was over 4 yrs. later and he had left the church long before) and although he said he did… I had my doubts. That night he snapped this photo of me.
Shortly, after that…like days, I broke up with my boyfriend and in passing in the hall, I told Ronnie to tell his brother to call me. I never dreamed he would! We talked on the phone…a lot and I got in trouble for going past my curfew. We went out on our first date the day before my graduation. We went to eat at El Fenix and to see a movie…Blue Thunder. The goodnight kiss on my front porch was perfect. The next day at commencement, Ronnie hunted me down telling me had a surprise for me. Who do you think was there? Yep…Ricky Stout. Sat through 4 hours of name calling to see a girl named Karen Kristof. (that makes me giggle). It really was love.
We spent that summer going to the lake and riding in the boat. Ricky would meet me in the Tom Thumb parking lot after I got off work. He would leave me little gifts and notes in my car. One night after kissing him in the parking lot and jumping into my car to leave, I impulsively said “I love you.” Which really freaked him out. But I couldn’t help it…I did!
We married in 1985. And it’s been our story ever since. A story full of love. The greatest love story in the history of my life.
Happy Anniversary, Ricky! You have always had the keys to my heart. I cannot ever thank you for loving me (even when I’m not very lovable) and for being my biggest cheerleader, the best kind of friend, the only sure thing in my life. I am the one that is blessed. Fabulously blessed, I might add. 🙂