Meeting My Forever Love

When Smooch and I got engaged in 2008, I wrote up our story and displayed it at our Engagement Party. Since it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share it again.

Carol DeCook, a small town girl from Spring City TN, only child of Judith DeCook (retired school teacher) and Al DeCook (Community College Professor) grew up alongside her three cousins, worked at Watts Bar Resort and enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. She moved to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee where she worked in the restaurant industry to put herself through college. After earning her degree in 1998 and looking at several options, she decided on a career with Suncom Wireless. When asked to drive to Nashville for team training for her new job, she raised an eyebrow and asked if there was another way. (Carol is not much of a driver.)  Her manager Everly said she would make a call…

Curtis Johnston, born in Westwood NJ, middle child of Curt Johnston (owner of Canaan Electric) and Mary Johnston (CFO of Canaan Electric), grew up harassing his older sister Heather and younger brother Joshua. He worked construction alongside his father, before leaving to serve seven years in the US Air Force. After traveling the world, he settled down in Tennessee with his three children, Richard, Kyle and Sarah. He got a job as a mechanic at Firestone where he was recruited to work for SunCom Wireless. Late one evening, he received a call from his good friend Everly. “I need a favor…”

Early the next morning, Carol awoke fifteen minutes before the alarm clock went off. With a song in her heart, she made a pot of coffee, did a load of laundry and wrote out some bills. To make the best impression on her new coworker, she allowed 20 minutes for her 6 minute drive. She skipped out of the house saying hello to the bunnies and feeding fresh flowers to the deer. The raccoons opened her car door and she was off. Disney at its best.

Across town, Curtis rolled out of bed after hitting the snooze alarm four times. Smell-checking yesterday’s shirt, settling on mismatched socks and grabbing a tie from the door handle, he headed for the car. Running back to the house to frantically search for his keys, finding them strategically placed next to the DVD player, he flew out the door again. Allowing 6 minutes for his 20 minute drive, he decided he still had time to stop for coffee.

Careening into the parking lot and screeching to a halt to meet his traveling companion for the day, he was awestruck by a tall brunette with porcelain white skin. Backlit by the morning sunrise, she looked like Snow White in a business suit. Opening the passenger door and leaning into the car, the princess spoke the first words of their history… “You’re late.”

Yeah, not much has changed over the years. She still acts like Snow White, and I’m a hybrid of Tigger and Eeyore (depends on the day). But we’re still together and still taking road trips!

Perhaps this Valentine’s Day in lieu of flowers or chocolates, give each other the gift of loving memories. How did you meet? Where was your first date? What made you fall in love? The conversation may just surprise you.

4 replies
  1. Aunt Brenda
    Aunt Brenda says:

    Of course I had read the reserve the date letter before, but I still get a kick reading it again. Of course I knew “smooch” was a stickler for being on time ,probably because someone she knew ( who shall remain nameless) was always late. With a little training you have gotten better and aren’t thrown together anymore. As for meeting my mate; 1st he had dated a friend of mine 2nd I wasn’t interested in dating him but sis called and said would I like to go, I said I would if we went to church first as I was commited to sing. They agreed; sis, her beau and my date. To shorten the story, I didnot enjoy myself not one bit. But over time that changed to he’s fun to like, to forever love. That’s been 53 years ago. So I guess it doesn’t always have to be love at first sight! Has it always been perfect, no but he definitely should have a gold medal for putting up with me. Wish we had thought about having back porch meetings. And given the chance I would do it all over again only I’d try to be nicer. And just a footnote my sweet niece could’nt have done better if I had picked you out myself!


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