I met my present wife, Lydia, when I was 22 years old, and then it happened.
|I met my present wife, Lydia, when I was 22 years old. She had just turned 19 and I fell in love with her the moment I laid eyes on her. As a member of the Brown Berets, I came to know many persons of importance, at least from my point of view, among those was the Director of a local job training program known as Operation SER (Service Employment, and Redevelopment). I had such a good relationship with the Director, I would walk into his office, by-passing his receptionist, without even needing to ask for her permission. One would normally have to enter her office first and then she would then inform the Director that he had a visitor, then, when she received authorization, she would usher the visitor into the Director's office. I, also normally, ignored all the protocols and just walked past her as she would shout instructions to me. This would so irritate the receptionist.
Well, one day I entered the office and notice the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life. She sitting at the usually empty second desk in the receptionist’s office. I stopped and looked at her, and said to myself, “I am going to marry her.” From that day forward, I made the time to “visit” my friend the Director more often. Each time I would visit, I would stop and pay attention to Lydia. I would either make passes at her, joke with her, or do something to catch her attention. She later told me that the receptionist would tell her terrible things about me and my character. The woman didn’t know me personally, other than my attitude in that office, but she would bad-mouth me to Lydia.
One day I went to visit and dropped a note on Lydia’s desk. She opened it and read the note. She looked up at me and started giggling. I had written this, “I want to go on a date with you. You don’t have to say anything, just smile.” She later told me that it was so funny that she couldn’t help laughing. So we went on a date to the Spanish Galleon, a restaurant much like today’s Red Lobster. I introduced her to shrimp, and she loved it. On our second date, I took her to Six Flags over Texas in Arlington, Texas. We so enjoyed the day together so much that since then she tells people that she first fell in love with Six Flags and then with me. Half a year later we got married.
Our wedding was a strange affair, in and of itself, we were both, as they used to say, “Stoned To The Bone.” High on marijuana, Lydia and I got married in my childhood church, Brother Bills, in West Dallas. With only a few persons in attendance, Lydia and I were married using two strange rings. My best friend, Juan Guevara, gave Lydia his turquoise ring, and then he gave me a ring made from a quarter. The whole event, for both my wife and I, is mostly a foggy memory. I mostly remember the preacher going on about marriage, God, and all that stuff, but I what is most clear in my mind is that he declared me married to the most beautiful woman in the world to me.