1972 I was a freshman in high school. The classroom door opened to my social studies class and in walked the school counselor and the new student. They walked over to the teacher’s desk. The teacher introduced her then instructed her to sit across from me in the back row. She walked towards me holding her books and we made eye contact as she sat down in the desk. Little did I know then, that we would spend the rest of our lives together!

I kept looking at her during social studies class that morning. I remember that day so well. She had long blonde hair and she sure was pretty. She was dressed nice with big bell bottom jeans. She did have really thick glasses, but still looked pretty. I don’t believe we talked to each other that day. I wish I could remember the first time we talked, the first time we said hi to each other. But I don’t. I finally got brave enough to ask her on a date. Our first date was at the Grand Theatre in Madison. Neither one of us was old enough to drive yet, so we walked to the Grand Theatre and met there. The movie was The Worlds Greatest Athlete. We still argue about who paid for the tickets and concessions. She said she did. I don’t think so. We still laugh about that. She became my girlfriend after that date. She still is today.

What I do remember is spending countless hours driving around Madison in my 1968 Ford Galaxy 500 for the next few years talking to each other a lot. We talked about everything under the sun. In the 1970’s in small town America teenagers cruised the streets of their hometown. That’s what we did in Madison. We spent countless hours at DeToys restaurant. DeToys had car hops back in the day, you drove up and a car hop took your order and then delivered the food to your car. What we did do most of the time was drive around Madison, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends and we talked. That is the way Roxie and I got to know each other so well.

2022. It’s been 46 years of marriage and 50 years of knowing each other. We even created our own people! That’s right we created our own people. You look at our family picture, kids, grandkids and dogs and this is what two people can create. God has truly blessed us. When you get to be my age (65) you tend to look back and realize life is short, really short! It goes so fast. Roxie and I raised four children in our 20’s and 30’s. We were empty nesters at 46 years old, that is young. So for the most part it has just been the two of us the last 18 years in our home. Now in our 60’s we sit in our favorite chairs and look at our cell phones all night. Just for fun sometimes we text each other from our chairs. Things sure have changed. But what hasn’t changed is our love for each other. She said she fell in love with my Elvis Presley sideburns, maybe it’s time to grow them back. We love each other more each day. Thank you Lord for my wife!

Sometimes I just look at you and think to myself, how did I ever get so lucky? I’ll never know, but please know that I am thankful for you every single day! And I can’t even express in words, but just know that I will love you forever!

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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