Monday, January 20, 2014

The Story of Us...with a Guest Post

I posted about D's and my engagement here
but there a a cute story to how we met.
The story, however, is a little different based on who tells it...
My husband is guest posting with his version of how we met.
Here is "he said she said..."

Here we are in at the Chicago Yacht Club in 1986...gotta love the 80's hair.

She said...
I was vacationing on Mackinac Island, Michigan with my BFF and her family.
It was 1986, the summer before my senior year of high school.
We were on the island during the Port Huron-to-Mackinac yacht race,
and headed downtown on the evening that all of the sailors arrived.
We were walking around the dock when my BFF and I were invited on to a boat for a tour...
It was the sailors from the USNA sailing team.
We hung out for awhile on the boat and then decided to head to the Grand Hotel.
There was a jazz concert in the gardens and D and I sat on the lawn all evening and talked.
It felt like I had known him for 100 years.
Before long, it was dark and chilly.
He loaned me his USNA sailing team jacket to keep warm.
The evening flew by and my BFF and I had to make it home before curfew.
It was about a mile walk...and it was cold.
D told me to keep his jacket and bring it back in the morning.
We would have breakfast together before they headed to Chicago for the Chicago-to Mackinac race.
Early the next morning, my BFF and I headed straight for docks.
Uh-Oh....their boat was gone.
The crew that was rafted off of the USNA boat said they had pulled out early.
I had D's jacket.
Well....a USNA sailing team jacket would have been a GREAT souvenir from the summer.
However, I NEVER thought for a moment about keeping his jacket.
I was actually worried about how he was going to stay warm during the rest of his races.
We were heading home the next day and I happened to live only 90 minutes from Chicago...
so I figured out when D's boat would arrive in Chicago,
and a friend and I drove over to the Chicago Yacht Club to return his jacket.
I was waiting on the dock when they pulled in...
he was shocked I was there....WITH his jacket.
I gave it back to him.
We spent an amazing afternoon in Chicago, walking around the city 
and talking for hours.
We parted with a hug and promised to be pen pals.
And we were for many years.
Fate brought us together once, and it brought us together again 20 years later.
The rest, as they say, is history.
These are the members of the USNA sailing team from 1986 at their USNA 20th reunion.
They all remembered me as "jacket girl" and are D's closest friends from the academy.

He Said...
It was the summer of 1986 and I was a second class midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  Translated to English, that means that I was about to start my junior year of college.  The Naval Academy had, and still has, an offshore sailing team and when I was there, we sailed a variety of donated boats between 40 to 68 feet long.  That summer, and all of the previous year, I was on a green 49 ft S&S called Cinnabar.  The crew was excited because that summer we were departing from the normal New England race circuit and headed for the Great Lakes.  It was probably because our skipper, TJ, was from Detroit and pulled a few strings.  You might ask why we were so excited… well, you have to understand that on the New England race circuit, the locals all knew all about midshipmen and how much trouble they could make.  On the Great Lakes, midshipmen still had a pristine reputation and the locals were more likely to be friendly and want to get to know us.  You might say that we were more of a novelty in the Midwest. 

So, after finishing my military training during the first half of the summer, TJ’s dad sent his plane down to Annapolis to fly 4 of us to Port Huron to meet the Cinnabar and the rest of the crew, who were already there.  I sure was right… the locals in Port Huron loved us and would not let us buy our own beer.  It was a blast.  A few days later we raced to Mackinac Island and when we arrived, it was even better than Port Huron (no offense intended to Port Huron).  While we were cleaning up the boat, 2 girls walked by and we did what we always did when they were good looking… we invited them to “see” our boat.  They accepted and after a quick tour, I headed into town with the prettier of the two girls.  We walked to the Grand Hotel and listened to a jazz concert.  After spending the day together, she needed to head back to the house where she was staying.  It had started to get chilly, so I gave her my sailing team jacket for the walk back and she promised to bring it back the next morning before we left.  Well, the next morning, she was nowhere to be found, and so we got underway for Chicago WITHOUT my jacket.  You can only imagine the grief and ribbing that I got from my shipmates for giving away my jacket.  I had to listen to it for three days straight

We pulled into the Chicago Yacht Club, but had to raft out about 10 boats.  That meant that we had to cross 10 boats to get to the pier.  One of my shipmates told me that the girl with my jacket was waiting for me on the pier.  I could not believe it. So I started to walk across boats and had to make a quick decision about half way across.  A woman sitting in the cockpit of one of the boats asked me if I was a ring knocker (midshipman), and invited my down below for a drink (wink wink).  It was a tough call, but I chose to decline and continued heading to the pier.  Sure enough, there was P, with my jacket.  We had a wonderful night, walking around Chicago.  It was my first time there and P was my tour guide.  We had to say goodbye, because the next day I was leaving on Cinnabar to race back to Mackinac.  I was so glad that P brought my jacket back. She made quite an impression on me.

Truth in advertising: the morning that I left Mackinac and P was supposed to meet me, we left a few hours early.  There were no cell phones back then, so I had no way to tell her.  She probably thought I stood her up when she arrived at the pier and I was gone.

So that is the story of can decided which story is the more ACCURATE version!

By the husband's real name is Jim.
My friends who follow my blog have asked me why I use "D" as his initial.
When I met D back in 1986, he introduced himself as Damien.
That was the name that was embroidered on his USNA sailing team jacket.
He explained that he got that nickname from his sailing teammates
because he frequently was sailing their boat at 6.66 knots.
So I have always known my husband as Damien, 
and when we were pen pals, I abbreviated his name to "D"
and have always called him just "D".
Several years ago, D asked me if I ever had a nickname.
My brother had a nickname for me...
"Prissy Chrissy"
And I don't think he meant that in an endearing
So D shortened it to "P"
and that is what he calls me.
When we are at his work functions or other events where I have to call him "Jim,"
and he has to call me "Christine," it feels!

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Miss Southern Prep said...

Such a cute story! It belongs in a Nicholas Sparks novel!!

Simply LKJ said...

Ha! Hubby is from East Tawas on Lake Huron. Loved watching the races and loved the S & S yachts! His neighbor in fact raced at one time! We love Mackinac! I have several beautiful paintings from there.

Nancy said...

I LOVE this story. Both sides. :) So if that was how you met then how did you re-connect after 20 years? We need a part two! Times two...both sides again please :)

pinkandgreenpolkadots said...

Ahh.. Such a great story! Long time reader from Bloomfield Hills, MI but lack on comments! Love all your fun MI posts!

pinkandgreenpolkadots said...

Ahh..such a great story! Long time reader from Bloomfield Hills, MI but awful on commenting! Love all the fun MI posts...

Alyson said...

This is a such a great story! Thanks for sharing it. Hope you are enjoying the snow!

Girl with the Curlz said...

What a fabulous story!!! Being a formal Michigan girl (family still there) myself you had me sucked in with Mackinac Island. Been there so many times. I love that place. What fun memories you have. How did you both reconnect again after 20 years? I love a good love story :)

Anastasia Hall said...

great blogs

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