My First Date With My Spouse
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 by Frank Shortt
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I was invited by one of my fellow airmen at Mather AFB, who lived in San Jose, California, to drive down with him to visit his family for the weekend. As we drove down Joey, that was his name, began to tell me about his neighbor a couple of doors down. Her name was Sharon Texeira and he told me that she was the same ethnicity as he, which was Portuguese. He said, “She’s a little skinny, but very pretty!” I always was partial to thin ladies! We were driving down on Friday night after we had gotten off work for the weekend.

We had planned to meet Sharon on the following day, but it was not to be, as she was off visiting her cousin Darlene across town. I was content to meet her mother next day. She was a beautiful, dark haired, well-spoken lady with a natural streak of white hair on one side, causing the rest of her dark hair to actually shine. I thought, “If Sharon is anywhere near as pretty as her mother, I am a gone gander!”

That night, Joey and I double dated, he with his regular girl, Angie, and I went with her friend Nancy. For some reason, it was not a very pleasant night! Nancy and I did not seem to hit it off and when I heard them whispering as I returned from the restroom, “He sure likes brown!” I knew that the wearing of clothes was more important to both of them than a friendly relationship! After all, I was in the USAF and wore whatever Uncle Sam directed me to wear. It is a good thing that the relationship with Nancy went sour, I was to meet my lifelong companion not long hence!

On Sunday, Sharon came home, and we met! She was indeed a beautiful lady and on getting to know her, she was a very intelligent lady as well. We made arrangements for a date that afternoon, Joey with Angie, and me with Sharon this time. We decided that we would go bowling to the Plaza Lanes, in the neighborhood, and we all went in Joey’s Pontiac, his pride and joy!

Unbeknownst to the other three, I had only bowled a couple of times at the Base and had learned very little about the sport. We entered the bowling alley and went up to the window to rent our shoes and pay for the games we would be playing. As I knew little about bowling, I just did what the other three did and I guess I pretended to know which ball to choose as I chose one that was not the best fit for me. The shoes were ok as I just chose the ones that were the same size as my regular low quarters (what we called slippers in the Air Force) and we proceeded to the alley assigned to us.

Joey and Angie were very experienced bowlers and I soon learned that Sharon was also. I had quite a few gutter balls, many missed pins, and few spares to make up the deficit. Sharon had strikes, many spares, and carried the day in score. I was not told that she had bowled many times at Ann Darling Bowl, where Joey worked before he joined the Air Force, and had bowled with Joey’s brother, Eddie as a team against other bowlers.

Needless to say, I was humiliated, beaten, and just about ready to call it quits with this amazing sports person. But, for some reason, she liked me. There was not much mention of our first date after that, and we continued to communicate with each other, me from the Base, she, from her home. We continued to date for around 18 months, at which time we became husband and wife. On September 10, 1963, we tied the knot and are still married, despite ups and downs, the downs making our marriage stronger. I have to admit, Sharon is stronger than me in a few other things, but I try not to let her know them!