See that (youngish) couple on the beach? There’s a Valentine’s Day story to this photo so I thought I’d share it with you.
Many moons ago, 1995 to be exact, when Don and I were courting, one January day we took one of our walks together on a local beach in San Diego. This particular beach was special to us because we’d met there. I was about to leave on a two week trip to audition prospective students for the theater program.
We had only known each other about 6 months. But we were in love, that we knew.
A man approached us, camera in hand, and introduced himself. He was a photographer for the San Diego Union Tribune and had been taking photos of us from the pier. Could he use one of them in a story slated for Valentine’s Day?
We were both surprised by the whole thing and after hesitating a bit, said yes.
He took down our information and gave us his card.
Almost immediately, I regretted saying yes. You see, we both worked at the same theater. I had students that also worked there. We were keeping our courtship very quiet because I didn’t want everyone, especially my students, to know about my personal life. At least not until we saw where this new relationship was going.
I panicked. I had visions of everyone at the theater talking about our photo being in the paper. Of someone ripping it out of the paper and posting it on one of the bulletin boards at the theater. Since I had to leave, I begged Don to call the photographer and say we had changed our minds. He did. We still wanted a copy of the photo if at all possible so Don asked him if we might be able to get a copy. We’d be happy to pay for it. No, the photographer said, it was against the policies of the newspaper to give a copy of a photo to anyone who was not willing to be credited in print. Ah well.
I left town. I came down with the flu while I was away and arrived home on Valentine’s Day eve, sicker than a dog. The morning of Valentine’s Day, Don knocked on my door with flowers, chocolate and a wrapped package in hand. Still sick, I unwrapped the package to find this framed photo.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
How did he do it? Well, Don has his ways. He pursued the photographer, told him our story, charmed and cajoled him until that lovely man said he’d make a copy for us. No charge. I had no idea any of this had been going on. I just sat there, framed photo in hand, and cried.
You do understand why I fell in love with him, don’t you?
This remains one of our most cherished possessions.
I hope you were surrounded by love yesterday and every day.