The time was December 29, 1967. The place was a Boy Scout – Girl Scout dance at the Moose Lodge in Hermosa Beach, California. The Band playing was the “US Males” that featured a member that used to belong to my scout troop.
I was a shy lad, 16 years of age, and just hanging out with my friends listening to the music. I was too shy, in fact, to feel comfortable about asking anyone to dance. I was looking around the room when I noticed Nina Louise Swanson walking into the hall with one of her friends and I just couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. It took a while but I finally got up the nerve to go over and ask her to dance but just before I reached her someone else stepped in and asked her to dance first. She told him she didn’t want to dance yet and when I stepped up she told me the same thing. I turned away heart broken. I don’t think I could have ever worked up the nerve to ask her to dance a second time but fate decided to play its own hand.
When the band took a break between sets everyone filed outside for some fresh air. There was a low brick wall that lined the edge of the entrance patio area in front of the hall which many of us began sitting on. When Nina finally came out there wasn’t much room left along wall. She headed for a spot across from where I was sitting with my friends but when she got there she commented that it was wet and a small puddle had formed on that area of the bricks. At that point I blurted out that there was a dry spot next to me and she looked up and smiled as she accepted my invitation. I don’t know if it rained the day before or if the sprinklers were running that day but I certainly thank my lucky stars for that little puddle. I didn’t leave Nina’s side for the rest of the evening and my best friend and I arranged for a double date with her and her best friend a couple weeks later. As it turned out Nina had noticed me earlier and was hoping that I would ask her to dance but she didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the guy who she turned down just before me,… what a sweet heart.
It is now 44 years later and I can honestly say that I love this woman more than ever and that’s just the beginning of our story.