Susan and I married on Saturday, October 16, 1982, at the Round Rock Church of Christ in Round Rock, Texas. (I didn’t even have to look that up! I knew it right off the top of my head!)
We had first met each other about a year-and-a-half earlier. I was a Freshman at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Susan was a Junior at Round Rock High School in Round Rock, Texas. She and her family were members of the Round Rock Church of Christ.
During my college days, I was involved in a college student ministry through the A&M Church of Christ, known as the Aggies For Christ. During the school year, the Aggies For Christ made several weekend trips to various congregations of the churches of Christ throughout the state of Texas. We would spend the weekend in activities with the local congregation’s teenagers, as a way to encourage Christian teenagers to remain faithful to the Lord. (FYI: The Aggies For Christ ministry is still in full swing today, some 26 years later. They are still ministering to Christian teenagers throughout the state through weekend “AFC Trips”.)
When the announcement was made about an AFC Trip to Round Rock, I signed up. I don’t know why I chose that particular trip over the other trips that were scheduled for the same weekend. That choice, however, sealed my destiny! We pulled out of the A&M Church of Christ parking lot early Friday evening, headed for Round Rock.
On the trip from College Station to Round Rock, various groups of Aggies were scattered throughout the bus playing “42” (the domino game). 42 was a long-standing tradition in the AFC. If you came into the group not knowing how to play 42, you picked it up pretty quickly! Serious players carried a homemade wooden lapboard on such trips, to better facilitate playing 42 on the bus ride.
We arrived at the Round Rock church building Friday night, had a devotional, and then dispersed to spend the night with our host families. My host family was the Elams. They owned a sports trophy shop in Round Rock.
On Saturday, the AFC crew joined with adults and teens from the Round Rock church in various work projects. I was assigned to the parking-lot-restriping crew. As it turned out, so was one of the local teens — a blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty named Susan Moore, who was a Junior at Round Rock High School. (Surely you see where this is going by now!) After the work projects were completed and lunch had been served, we took the AFC bus to one of the local school gymnasiums to play volleyball and basketball, and to just hang out for awhile.
For some reason (Fate? Destiny? Providence?), I was one of the last people to board the bus. Almost every seat was taken. As I made my way to the back of the bus, looking for any available spot to park my keister, I heard a timid voice coming from the seat with the only vacancy: “You can sit here. I don’t bite.” The source of the timid voice was that same blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty who had been on parking-lot-restriping duty earlier that day — Susan Moore. I took her up on her offer.
Susan and I spent the rest of the afternoon noticing each other, trying to impress each other, and showing off our mad volleyball skills (she actually HAD some mad volleyball skills, I just pretended). The next morning, I sat with her family during worship service. When it came time Sunday afternoon for the Aggies to return to College Station, Susan handed me a school picture of herself and told me goodbye. Little did I know that my entire destiny was hanging in the balance, and was about to be permanently redirected.
Shortly after arriving back at our apartment in College Station, the phone rang. One of my brothers answered it, looked at me, and said, “It’s for you.”
As the person on the other end of the connection began to speak, I immediately recognized the voice. It was the same voice that had spoken those fateful words, “You can sit here. I don’t bite.”
One significant fact that I should mention: the Saturday on which I accepted Susan’s offer to “sit here” — the day we first met — was February 14, 1981 (Valentine’s Day)! I should have seen it coming! One year later, on Valentine’s Day 1982, I proposed to Susan in a very clever and romantic way (maybe I’ll tell you that story sometime). She said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Susan has kept the very first promise she ever made to me. In all the years that have passed since the day we first met, she has never bitten me. Not even once!