Even Scientists Need Love

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

It being Valentines Day and all, I thought I’d write a Valentine message about the woman I generally describe as my “gorgeous ex-fiancee”, my wife of 35 years this November. I thought I’d say a few words about her and how we got married … because as is usual in my life, nothing is usual in my life in the slightest, and our wedding was no exception.

Willis & Ellie on the Askoy

Me’n my gorgeous ex-fiancee, 1984, off of Beqa Island

Now, I’d never planned to get married. I never considered it once. I was a rolling stone, me and moss were not friends, not even acquaintances. But in 1978, at the age of 31, I found myself once again without a girlfriend, an unacceptable condition. My older brother is a private pilot. He used to fly for a group called the “Flying Doctors”, who’d fly down and set up weekend clinics in dirt-poor parts of northern Mexico. He had met his then girlfriend, now wife, on one of those trips, she’s a doctor.

So I figured heck, it worked for him, he found a girlfriend, I’ll give it a try. I signed on as a Spanish translator, and on the next trip jumped in my brother’s plane with his girlfriend and some other folks, and we flew south. The first time I saw my good lady, she was 24, and standing by another private airplane carrying doctors as we refueled in Southern California. I found out later she was a nurse.

So that was Friday. We talked a bit at dinner in El Fuerte. Saturday, the docs and the nurses set up shop, and I was busy translating all day solid. But we walked around in the evening, talked about our lives.

On Sunday we all flew to Hermosillo, and we spent the morning on the beach. Then they all hopped in the airplanes and headed back to the states. I didn’t go, though, I figured heck, I’m in Mexico, I’m on early retirement again, why hurry home? She’s cute and all, but this is Mexico, don’t waste the chance to see some new country and talk to some new people.

So I started drifting south along the Mexican coast, no destination, just meeting folks and talking story. I’d write postcards to her, though, just stuff about my travels.

I ended up needing a place to stay in some town just inland from the sea, so small it didn’t have a motel or guest house of any kind. Someone said I could probably find a bed down at the Fishermen’s High School.

Man, I liked the sound of that, “Fishermen’s High School”. I sure wished I went to that high school. So I picked up my backpack, and I started walking the couple of dusty miles to the ocean. When I got there, I started talking to the folks, and sure enough, it was a high school for fishermen. I talked commercial fishing with the teachers, and they told me about their school. It was a four-year school. First two years, general marine studies. Second two years, you specialize, either the deck (seamen, mates, captain) or the engine room (wipers, juniors, engineers, chiefs). They let me sleep in the dormitory with the kids, who found it hilarious because their beds were built for very short people, and my feet hung way over the end …

The teachers said they had to take the school’s training boat, a clapped-out forty-foot Cuban-built commercial fishing vessel, south about a 2-day run to have some work done on it, and asked if I wanted to come along … we left early the next morning. I asked about food for the trip, and I was assured it was covered.

The way it was covered was that about thirty miles (fifty km) into the trip, we pulled up alongside a Mexican shrimp trawler. The captain tossed over a five-gallon (20 litre) bucket, and it was returned full to the brim with shrimp … which we ate morning, noon, night, and for snacks until we arrived in Mazatlan. Tough times.

We had four in the crew, two teachers, me, and a fifteen year old kid who was learning to stand watches. We set it up one man on watch, three hours on, nine off, and if you need a hand you call the next man on the list, the previous man’s gone to sleep. I was nervous about the setup. I’m not used to running with some kid at the wheel. What if he put us on the rocks?

Now, the kid was on the 12 to 3 shift. So that night, I set my alarm, and I got up at about one. I went up on deck, and stood at the lee rail reducing the hydrobiostatic pressure, but really I was watching the kid. I zipped up and talked to him, checked the compass, he was on course, checked the boat’s wake, he was steering straight, but looking a bit green. As we talked, he was looking worse, sicker and sicker. Finally, he asked me to take the wheel, and he went to the lee rail and threw up. “Knows enough to puke to leeward,” I thought, “but I bet that’s the last I see of him tonight”, and I mentally prepared to stand the rest of his watch while he was hors de combat with seasickness.

But no, the plucky little bugger finished puking, rinsed out his mouth out with water from jug, spat over the rail, and to my amazement took the wheel from me and said “Gracias, señor, lo tengo. Usted puede dormir.”, meaning “Thanks, sir, I’ve got it. You can go back to bed”. And I did, with no further worries about his seamanship or solidity, and an increasing respect for the Fishermen’s High School.

But all the time I was on the boat, I was thinking of that good lady. So when we arrived in Mazatlan, and the boat was all tied up, and I’d thanked the guys, and the kid, I went to the airport, and after a total of three weeks in Mexico I flew back to the Bay Area. I called her, and I met her on the campus of San Jose State, where she was going to school.

We talked for an hour or so, and we were so happy to see each other, we’d both been thinking about the other, and one thing led to another, and the madness came over me, and I asked her to marry me. I figured to myself, dude, seriously, don’t let this woman get to know you too well first, you might lose her, strike while the iron’s hot and she doesn’t know your backstory

And to my complete astonishment, she said sure, why not get married? Hey, we’d spent maybe eight hours together, why not indeed? So I said I’d be happy to get married anytime, six months, a month, tomorrow …

She said that sounds great, let’s get married tomorrow … girl of my dreams. So I called up my buddy, he’s a Presbyterian minister, and I said hey, can you marry us tomorrow? He said sure. And I called up my future father-in-law. I told him I didn’t know him, but I wanted to marry his daughter, and I was really hoping to have his blessing on our wedding. He said if I was good enough for her, I was good enough for him, so it was fine by him.

The next day we drove to Fairfax, to my friend’s church. He was the only one there. I said, didn’t we need a witness? He said no, he’d get his roommate to sign off on it, and of course we’d have to get the blood test for syphilis before we got married, but there was no impediment there, he’d put whatever date we needed on the wedding certificate.

Both of us wanted to get married outdoors, but there was this slight impediment, it was pouring down rain. But Michael, bless his heart, said he didn’t mind if we didn’t mind.

So under a lovely poplar tree in a drenching downpour, in my usual blue jeans and work shirt, I married a woman I hadn’t even spent a full day with.

Now the course of true love never runs smooth, and this was no exception. Remember that Michael had said that we had to get the blood test before we got married? Well, we got the blood test, and it was just over a month before we saw Michael again. He dated the wedding certificate for the day before we saw him, and all was well … until we went to the County to register our marriage. It’s not official until the County says so. The lady was all happy we’d gotten married, and then her face clouded all up. Oh, no, she said, I’m afraid you’ll have to get married again!

We were stunned. She explained that the marriage had to occur within one month of the syphilis test, and the blood test was on December 6, and the marriage license was dated January 7th, so we were screwed, we had to get a new syphilis test and get remarried.

We went home and talked it over and came up with a plan. I took the syphilis test certificate, rolled it into my trusty Underwood typewriter, and changed the syphilis test date from “December 6″ to December 16 with a single keystroke. The next day we took it to the next county over, registered our marriage without incident, and laughed all the way home about how in America you have to be a criminal just to get married …

Since then she has been my boon companion and solid support in countless adventures around the world, as well as the beloved mother of our daughter. One year when I was fishing, she and the dwarf and I all lived in a shipping container in the Peter Pan yard in Dillingham, Alaska. She got a job nursing in the local hospital while I battled the Bering Sea, plus she took care of the kid, and laughed while we were doing it, what more could a man ask?

My most enduring memory of her, though, is one time when she and Jeff and I leased the “Olinka”, a sixty foot steel commercial salmon fishing boat, and were fishing offshore from San Francisco near the Farallones Islands. Icing down the salmon is the worst job, you have to go belowdecks, and there’s not enough height to stand up. You’re bent over, trying to stay upright as the boat pitches and rolls, packing the salmon in the ice, putting ice in the belly cavity. Usually Jeff or I did it, you need a strong stomach and good sea legs for the job.

One day, Jeff and I were on the back deck, and I didn’t see my lady anywhere … so I went belowdecks, into the fish hold, to see if she was there. She was bent over, slipping around, icing the bellies of some fish that hadn’t been properly stored. When she saw me, she blew a wisp of hair out of her face because her gloves were covered with ice and salmon gurry and she gave me a smile so full of pluck and adventure and sweet determination my heart melted completely, she gave me the thumbs up, she had it under control, she’d seen Jeff and I doing it, she knew the drill … I went back on deck shaking my head in admiration.

Me, I reckon I’m a pretty good guy … but I’m a good guy because I’ve learned how to be a good guy. It’s not my natural state. For her, she’s the other way around—beauty’s only skin deep, and she’s got that too … but that woman is good and kind and strong to the bone.

Anyhow, that’s my valentine for her, love you, babe, let’s do another 35 years …

w.

PS—Now, some of you ladies, I can hear you thinking, “How come that skonk of a man of mine doesn’t talk pretty that way about me? How come he’s not praising my attributes like Willis does his lady?” I know this, because I have seen poor innocent men busted for this very crime in the past.

I assure you, ladies, that while your man assuredly thinks those things about you (or else he would be long gone), every man has his own skills, and not every man is a troubadour and a wordsmith. No good expecting a bear to be a bunny, so give that bear a Valentines hug for all the good things he does do …

…  from Willis’s autobiography, entitled “Retire Early … And Often” …

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56 Responses to Even Scientists Need Love

  1. kelly burgess says:

    as my dad would say ” A woman to ride the river with “

  2. Dean says:

    That was beautiful Willis, just beautiful.

  3. A.D. Everard says:

    Wonderful story, Willis, and a wonderful message for the ladies out there. It’s true. :)

    As for the speed of it all – sometimes it happens like that. You both sound made for each other. May your future ever be bright. Cheers.

  4. David Onkels says:

    Brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Very heartfelt, Willis, and the PS is thoughtful of you.

  6. Pingo says:

    Just spent my 30th of 30 valentine’s day single and all the better for it. You wouldn’t find a lady like that in the UK any more Willis, the sad truth is western society and feminism has ruined them.

  7. Oiseau says:

    I liked that story. Thank-you.

  8. Thumper says:

    Willis, Thanks, Thanks, Thanks, again,

  9. RockyRoad says:

    Best first mate I’ve ever seen, Willis–You are one lucky dude. Thanks for yet another great story.

  10. CRob says:

    OK…good story, but what is Hugh Jackman doing on a boat with YOUR wife?

  11. Ill Tempered Klavier says:

    To find a true mate has got to be the greatest thing on this earth. A few years ago I had a date with Doc. Hackem and came back minus my left boob. The OM was solid rock: Taking care of the drainage bags, changing the dressing on my radiation burns, and all the rest of the messy aftermath. I didn’t have a clue how much of my self image was bound up with having big ones up front until I got lopsided, but he’s still going out of his way to prove it doesn’t matter a bit to him.

    Do frumpy mutilated grandmothers need love too? More than ever I think. I can’t begin to say how grateful I am to have it.

  12. AndyG55 says:

    You can get by without love..

    when you have to :-(

  13. Oscar Pastorious wont be getting any Valentines Day Cards this year. Hes got a court case coming up and he aint got a leg to stand on.

  14. Goode 'nuff says:

    CRob, that fella is not Hugh Jackman… gosh… anyone can see that is Bruce Dern!

  15. Willis, thanks for that great story, sometimes people know from the first moment that they are made for each other. This is one of these…

  16. Sam the First says:

    What a wonderful story – it swells the heart to read it – and if you’re a lucky man, she’s certainly a lucky woman.

  17. mfo says:

    Wonderfully touching. She’s a once in a lifetime “gorgeous ex-fiancee”. Mine got to know me too well ;o)

  18. Thank you Willis,brings back thoughts of me and
    “old whatsername” 53 years ago.I hear her moving
    around upstairs.Better get the coffee ready.I’ll never
    forget “old whatsername” Thanks again.
    Alfred

  19. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    Excellent! Thanks, Willis, for an uplifting essay.

    My wife and I were married on August 14, 1965, exactly half a year from Valentine’s Day, so yesterday we celebrated our 47.5-year anniversary by my taking her to chemo and back and figuring out what to do with a $10 Target gift card that I received for pronouncing the spelling bee at the school where my wife used to be librarian. What will I do with the gift card? She says we need a new bathtub mat, with which I fully agree; the card will go toward that. We also celebrated the day with three good meals, together, for the umpteenth thousandth time and reflected that we know each other a whole lot better than we did those many years ago, and value each other more. She’s a trouper, working her way through cancer while I plug along with my heart condition. I have been deeply blessed.

  20. starzmom says:

    It’s another fun story. Thank you, Willis. By the time your’e finished with this book of yours, I will have read most of it!!

  21. M. Jeff says:

    Willis,

    I related your advice to my wife of 53 years. Had a positive effect. Thanks.

    …. I assure you, ladies, that while your man assuredly thinks those things about you (or else he would be long gone), every man has his own skills, and not every man is a troubadour and a wordsmith. No good expecting a bear to be a bunny, so give that bear a Valentines hug for all the good things he does do …

  22. JImbrock says:

    Lovely story. Brought tears welling up into my eyes. My first love was a fishing nut; gone now some 12+ years. Enjoy the time you have together.

  23. Kermit says:

    Great story! Brings back memories. Same as you, I had no thoughts of ever getting married. I was in Alaska and having the time of my life. I visited my college roommate over Christmas and his cousin was there – asking me all about Alaska. I told her to “come on up next summer and clean my fish.” Never thought any more about it until I’m back out on the crew in bush and get this letter asking if I can pick her up at the airport on a certain day in June. My thoughts – S***, now what did I get myself into!” We had some great trips, including floating a river to the Arctic Ocean that had never been floated before. This summer, with me approaching 70, she is going with me to tent camp on the Dean River for ten days.

    Some of us just get lucky.

  24. Mike H says:

    Reminded me of a quote from a buddy. . . “I can show you a ton of guys who are with woman who are too good for them. They are called my friends!”.
    Why does the better half the population put up with us? Great story Willis. I’m loving having them intermingled with the WUWT Climate news.
    Cheers

  25. JP Miller says:

    Willis, thanks.

  26. Richard111 says:

    Nice one Willis. I have a story but I’m not a wordsmith. Was on my way into town one day for a few more drinks on my trusty old bezza-bantam and decided to call in on an old friend who used to run the pub I’d just left. I wanted to let her know the pub was in good hands and all was well. As I walked into the lounge there was a strange woman crying on the sofa.
    That was thirty seven years ago. We married a year later. She insisted on a church. First time I’d been in one since I was fourteen. Never went again. She’s reading the paper behind me now. We are both in our middle seventies.

  27. Thanks, Willis,
    This is a well-written, beautiful story!

  28. Steve Keohane says:

    Thanks Willis. You and yours beat us out for the shortest meeting to marriage proposal. We had to spend a whole day together before I proposed 23 years ago.

  29. Max Hugoson says:

    WILLIS -The movie! Co-staring the “Ex-fiance”. Brought to you by more and better than the average bear. Coming to Anti-AWG theaters near you soon…Way to go Willis.

  30. JFD says:

    Willis, I am glad that you are part of my reading life. You have multiple writing skills and styles with an underlying bedrock of excellent communication. I am always utterly amazed with how fast you can turn out essays on differing subjects. You are a clear headed thinker and ponderer with the ability to tie various facts together to arrive at conclusions. I am sure that your “ex-fiancée” knows this and appreciates your rare abilities. Everyone needs a life mate who understands that it takes two to tango, waltz, cha cha, polka, swing and do the Texas Two Step.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your wife.

  31. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Lucky bastard.

  32. PaulH says:

    I figured to myself, dude, seriously, don’t let this woman get to know you too well first, you might lose her, strike while the iron’s hot and she doesn’t know your backstory …

    I’ll remember that bit of advice….
    ;-)

  33. Wyguy says:

    Thanks again Willis, met my wife on a blind date, asked her to marry the next day at lunch, we will be celebrating our 59th trip around the sun this year.

  34. wsbriggs says:

    My future wife and a friend walked into a local dancing establishment during Happy Hour. The friend had hypoglycemia and had to eat, the establishment had an excellent buffet, and more importantly, on Tuesdays had a 6 oz filet and a 1/2 baked potato for $3. Having enjoyed 12 oz of filet and a baked potato plus two beers, I was sitting at the end of the bar talking to a couple I knew when the two of them walked in. We were introduced as the couple knew both of them. The friend immediately headed to the buffet, while I talked to the good looking German. I speak German with a Swiss accent and she refused to believe that I was American, she made me show her my drivers license to prove it. We started dancing, and clicked. The next morning the only thing I could remember about her were those blue eyes. Luckily I still had her phone number and still do – twenty-one years later.

    My story pales in comparison, but it’s what I’ve got. Thank you for sharing Willis!

  35. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Jim south London says:
    “Oscar Pastorious won’t be getting any Valentines Day Cards this year. He’s got a court case coming up and he ain’t got a leg to stand on.”

    Awww, man… that’s just not right.
    (It’s funny, but it’s still not right!)

  36. Jenn Oates says:

    You are very blessed, and I’m only a little bit envious. :)

  37. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Louis Hooffstetter says:
    February 15, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Lucky bastard.

    Damn straight I am, Louis, fortunate beyond belief …

    Many thanks,

    w.

  38. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    February 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Thanks Willis. You and yours beat us out for the shortest meeting to marriage proposal. We had to spend a whole day together before I proposed 23 years ago.

    Yeah, some people are just slow off the starting blocks … my congratulations to you both, I truly admire people willing to take a chance on life.

    w.

  39. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis, this story establishes that you are the hero for our time beyond all doubt. More later.

  40. Pete Olson says:

    After two earlier disastrous tries, I was almost 60 when I met my wife at a dance. When we danced, every thing about her said, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!”. So I asked her out, and she said, ‘No! No! No!’, which was the absolute best thing she could have done, because I never wanted to belong to a club that would have me as a member… Took me a long time to coax her to me, but when she came, she came all the way. For the first time in my life – in my doddering almost-old-age – I have a partner, sweetheart, and pal who is truly on my side. Lucky me…

  41. Auto says:

    Yeah.
    It happens.
    I did a Lonely Hearts ad.
    ‘Looks and Legs appreciated – but Personality Preferred . . . .’
    A story, a longish one, involving Tia Maria – but my ex-fiancee’s house-mate actually posted the ‘practice’ letter . . . .
    We met in a pub, by arrangement..
    Nineteen years now – and still loving it.

  42. RiHo08 says:

    Willis

    The helm seems to have two wheels and your lovely bride has her hands on both. And, for what purpose?

  43. S. Meyer says:

    Ah, Willis, what a life you have had. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your beloved.

  44. Annie says:

    Great story again Willis.

    We’ve recently celebrated 45 years of marriage!

  45. Boston12GS says:

    Yeah, I married a woman just like that.

    Albeit, not until I was in my mid-40s and had already wasted a decade-and-a-half in a bad first marriage, but still . . . :-)

    Pushing 10 years together now, and we’re as crazy in love as that first meeting outside the Sevens pub on Charles Street, Boston, lo those many years ago.

    Keep the stories up, Willis, they both entertain and bring back memories of my own youth.

  46. Hasbeen says:

    Nice story, & the right kind of lady. Short courtships are always the best. For me, a two year courtship lead to an unhappy mirage. The breakdown of that sent me off around the Pacific islands, in my yacht, building jetties, & repairing things the islanders & plantation owners could not do them selves.

    After some years, mostly single handed, I sailed into northern Queensland, heading for Sydney. I became part of a group of yachts, at the end of the trade wind season, heading south, inside the Great Barrier Reef, meeting up from place to place.

    A number of us were stuck in a nice little fishing, come tourist village in southern Qld, while a gale blew it self out. I met a young lady who, with a couple of fellows, were paying crew on a yacht, stopped waiting for parts after a breakdown. We had a couple of bar b ques with the other yachties, & a night dancing at the sailing club, but she was north bound & me south. When the winds reduced, I was on my way.

    500 miles south, I was again hiding from the weather, in a NSW fishing village this time, when the law came looking for me. No, I was not suspected of running drugs, I had been reported missing.

    She had flown to Sydney when I left waiting for me to arive, & was worried about me. This was a strange feeling. No one had worried about me for years.

    When I got to Sydney she was waiting. She came onboard, & never left. 12 years later we had to move ashore, when she started filling the boat with kids.

    Now the kids have gone, I wonder if I can get her back onto a boat?

  47. Pingo says:

    Think i am the only one who has commented on this thread who is out there and looking right now and it aint pretty. Would be nice to be transported back 30 or so years before feminism ruined the women of the west.

  48. Mike Borgelt says:

    You’re a lucky guy Willis. Fortunately I don’t have to be the least bit envious. Just celebrated our 35th. Mine used to be an RN too.

  49. Laurie says:

    Ah, Pingo, it isn’t that hard ;) Learn the woman’s name and stop calling them all “Lady” or “Girlie” or “Beautiful”. Say “please” and “thank you”, wash your hands and tell her “It will be my pleasure to treat”, now and then. You’ll find someone sweet :D

  50. Thanks Willis. There are a lot of us our here who have found that perfect other (wife of 40 years, in my case) who is “good and kind and strong,” who loves you more than anything, imperfections and all. This is a good “they live among us” story for those still searching.

  51. Paul Coppin says:

    ” RiHo08 says:
    February 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Willis

    The helm seems to have two wheels and your lovely bride has her hands on both. And, for what purpose?”

    Ok, I’ll play… Its been awhile for me, and Willis will set us straight. Boat looks like an Out Islander 41 to me but is probably bigger. As to second wheel, things that come to mind: wheel brake, main traveler crank to ease the wheel (pull the boom traveler up or down to balance the helm), rudder trim for similar purpose. My little 25′ pocket yacht had a tiller – that needed two hands sometimes in a blow too…:)

  52. John Jensen says:

    A slanted view about comments concerning ‘feminism’ and ‘western women’. Love isn’t about ownership or behavior. If a woman isn’t free to be herself, she can’t give you all she has. She is saving some part of herself to deal with the chains of that bondage. If you truly love her without reservation, then help her find that freedom. Demand nothing except integrity to her true self. I told my ex-fiance 35 years ago that I loved her without strings, without ownership or reservations, and that meant she didn’t have to even love me back. If she did, great. If she didn’t, I would still love her forever. No strings means just that. Because you give love unconditionally doesn’t necessarily mean you will get love back. Because if that is the motive for doing it, you’re in for a rough ride. Sometimes unconditional love exists on both sides. When it does, it writes its own beautiful story, When it doesn’t, it writes a different slow sad song. Sorry for you that have not found a love to give away. It is the only experience in life that exceeds all those ‘golden moments’ life has to offer. Holding hands watching the sun go down on am eastern beach on the Tasman Sea on South Island. Hand line fishing out of a Boston Whaler in a kelp bed between Glacier Bay and Kake, standing together hugging each other on the top of the Eiffel Tower, on the Tramway to the Rock in Rio, Niagara Falls at midnight, Waterfall-Alaska, spontaneously finding extra seats at the Original Beefeaters in London one Sunday afternoon, riding for daylight on the back of a Fat Boy, finding the courage to fight a deck fire on a small burning boat west of Wrangell, because all she could do was grab a body bag and jump overboard. When I got the fire under control, I found an oar to row back and pick her up. Love is fighting the fire for your partner. And the strength to go get her when she most needs it. Love is a tapestry of Life’s Golden Moments’. I have carried with me ‘love given’ for several different people my entire life, some who I neither married nor lived with, but love to this day. Titles are meaningless. Some of them very unsavory by today’s politically correct titles. Some Vietnam warriors, some convicts, others of questionable social status. None of which effected my love for them. Others, like my beautiful bride of 34 years, and our talented amazing son fill my life with boundless joy to this day.

    I believe in freedom, for myself and everyone around me. For everyone I love. I stood honor guard for my son from the day of his birth, making sure that every person that came in contact with him treated and respected him as a ‘whole person’, no baby talk, no BS. Straight up, the truth every time. Literally from birth. By 5, he was a complete human being. We are joined at the hip to this day. As close as any two people could be. Even when he made mistakes and failed miserably, love was the strength always given that he needed. Today he is a world class musician, performing in downtown Austin on a daily basis. Unconditional love got him there. And I know without question that as he grew up and observed his mother and my unconditional love for each other, will be an inspiration for how he will treat others he loves in his life.

    Your comments of feminism’ and so on, are excuses for your own lack of ability to give unconditional love. Find someone to give unconditional love to, and you might or might not get a little back. What you will get for sure, is the internal satisfaction of giving all you have for love without expectation. Love is NOT a baloney sandwich. Stop picking through the lunch meat, blaming it for your inability to make a sandwich. It ain’t the baloney…..It’s you.

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    Well, I guess I am less worried about how I am loved, just as long as I am loved. And I kinda like the idea that love is a baloney sandwich. Love is messy, gritty stuff. Like dishes. They get dirty and need to be washed frequently. But even then you get some dried on stuff that just won’t come off, or you get a chip here and there. Or the damn thing falls to the floor and breaks into a thousand pieces. So sweep up the mess and buy a new set of dishes. Life is hard and the scars we have are our purple hearts. No need to trundle them out for all to see but no need to cry over them either. Yep. I like baloney sandwiches.

    As for Willis’ story. Well done.

  54. rwiley says:

    Willis, Thanks for another great story. I wonder if your brother and I crossed paths during our “Flying Doctor” adventures. I flew many trips from Santa Barbara during the 70s. We flew into San Carlos or Guaymas on Friday and the inland to the villages on Saturday.
    Richard Wiley

  55. Johna Till Johnson says:

    Willis,

    When the HELL are you going to write that book, damn it?

    I’ll preorder tomorrow on Amazon….Great story, as always! Thanks for sharing.

  56. Boblo says:

    Wonderful story Willis. I know the joy. 1972 met my wife at a party and knew right away. Took her 3 dates, but she’s Australian and they can be a little slow. Celebrating at the moment skiing, but every day is a blessing, no matter where.

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