The following is a newspaper Valentine message for my wife, Janet. It appeared in a February 2005, issue of The Herald-Dispatch, a Huntington, West Virginia newspaper.
A Valentine For Mrs. T.
The first time I saw her hazel eyes was in fourth grade—fifty-two years ago. She giggled and chased me across the playground, while I darted about—scared. But in ninth grade, I allowed her to catch up. We kissed at our end-of-the-year party, and I turned to butter immediately. In high school, we were close friends. The years whisked by, and our lips never touched. Afterward, we went our separate ways—she to college, and I to business school. The Vietnam conflict escalated, so I served my country, while she taught little children to read, do math, and say the Pledge. My heart longed to see her, so in a moment of weakness, I composed a letter. She answered. Wow! My chest pounded as I read it over and again. Once my tour in Vietnam ended, I returned home, telephoned her immediately, and we were together the next evening. We kissed, and it was ninth grade again. My next assignment was in Chicago. She and her sisters came for a weekend visit, and I proposed on the sand-duned shores of Lake Michigan. She accepted. Thirty-seven years have passed, but she still loves me, despite my faults. I’m mad about Janet.