This is a series of five postings. If you haven’t read the previous three stories, please do so now before reading this current posting.
C. Junior Year 1954-1955
Ann spent the summer traveling with an Endowment Ladies Quartet for the college which paid her first semester of school expenses for the following year. But the trip was long and tiring. Besides singing in churches they were counselors in church camps. No trip home but her folks did come down for a weekend in New Mexico to give her a break. I drove up to Salinas for a surprise visit. The pastor’s wife was the sister of my Aunt Edith where I spent the last three years of my high school. So I arranged to stay there with them and gave Ann another break from her routine.
My summer was spent working at the Nazarene Book Store and writing letters! Wrote to her every day and she wrote to me every day. Yes, some of those letters still exist but will have to be destroyed before my kids get to them! There is a story about her receiving these letters which will be in another posting some day.
This is my junior year. Two down and two to go. Checking my yearbook, there is only one picture of Ann and I besides our class pictures. We were part of a picture story done about one of our friends about writing a term paper. There were twelve pictures going about his day finishing with the paper done. We were in one of those pictures with Gene Rice. Ann was pictured with a ladies trio for the college endowment. I didn’t get many signatures or comments written in this book but two that stand out are Dave Cole and Marlene Webb. They were getting married in 16 days, just one month before Ann and I were. As stated in a previous post, Marlene and Ann were born the same day but didn’t know each other until they came to college and sang in the Endowment Groups. You can read about that story here. Dave also sang in a quartet for the college.
This year the people owning the house that we rented a room in asked us to move out of the room. But instead they gave us the entire upstairs apartment for the same price! We had a bedroom, living room, partial kitchen (no sink), and a bathroom all to ourselves and furnished. The bedroom and kitchen were partitioned off with a free standing book case cabinet full of dishes. When Dave was to leave for a two week choir tour, he set two clocks so he wouldn’t oversleep. The one in the living room went off and so did Dave -- right into the cabinet knocking it over with a loud crash. Remember this is early in the morning. Then he was gone for two weeks. The people thought we had fought and he left. We straightened them out.
Since this was my junior year, the school had a Junior Ditch Day when all the juniors skipped classes that day and this year the trip was to Catalina Island and the city of Avalon. One catch -- the juniors always captured the Senior Class President and took him and his girlfriend along. My roommate, Dave Benson, was the Senior Class President. So naturally the job was mine and we got it done without any problems. His girlfriend, Ginny Curl (later his wife), also went and we all had a great time skipping our classes that day. That was the first time Ann and I had been to Catalina Island which became later in our lives our R & R destination.
Dave Benson, Virginia Curl, and Ann Edwards waiting for the boat. See my 1947 Plymouth behind them.
Taken on Junior Ditch Day in Avalon Catalina Island. Count the ribs! I weighed 120-125 pounds at this time.
In December 1954 during the Christmas Break, I had a life altering experience when I decided to live my life for Jesus Christ and turn my life over to Him for guidance. No bells went off - whistles didn’t blow -- I didn’t hear anyone speaking in a “God like voice”. Just a decision that actually changed me from living for myself to living for Him. I had been in a Christian atmosphere most of my life having lived with my grandparents who were ministers and an uncle who was very involved in music ministry. But living around Christianity is much different than living as a Christian. This was a decision that I have never regretted.
In February of 1955, I asked Ann for her hand in marriage. So that you don’t have to wait much longer, she said yes. Then I asked her father, Robert Edwards, for permission to marry his youngest daughter and he didn’t hesitate in saying yes to my request. Our wedding date was set for July 22, 1955. This was during the summer between my junior and senior year at Pasadena Nazarene College.
Ann left school for Kansas City, Missouri, and to prepare for the wedding. I stayed in Pasadena in our rented duplex and continued my work at the book store.