Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Larry Courting Jeanette

I returned home from Argentina to the USA in April of 1977. In June of 1977, when I was approaching 25 years of age, I began attending Brigham Young University. I was interested in getting an education and a wife. I declared my major in Civil Engineering, and I began dating.

Unlike the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, and the University of Florida, Brigham Young University, the school I attended, is not a party school. Both genders attend BYU, but unless couples are married, they are required to live in separate housing. The apartment where I lived was suggested by a friend from my home town. He lived there too. My apartment was in a building that had about 8 apartments, and across the parking lot was a building that had about 24 apartments for women.

Wholesome activities were encouraged at BYU. In my religion it is suggested that families have an evening each week, usually Monday, where the family engages in a program called "Family Home Evening". This was practiced at BYU also. Almost the entire student body is composed of members of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" as the school is sponsored by the church. We, as single men and women, would separate into groups that we referred to as our family. We would participate in "Family Home Evening", and often we would have an activity, like going to a play, a movie, or maybe even Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City.

Jeanette Cheshire and Hazel Luster were roommates and friends. On one of our outings for home evening (which was frequently away from home) we, as a ward (an ecclesiastical congregation), went to the planetarium. I talked to and was interested in getting to know Hazel Luster. Luster was a name I knew from my home, and I used that as a talking point. I don't remember the particulars, but somehow I managed to ask Jeanette on a date. She accepted. We went and ate pizza at a local shop in Provo.

Sometime in there I remember going to a restaurant called "The Brick Oven" and seeing Marie Osmond. She attended BYU the same time Jeanette and I did. And did I mention that BYU was national champion in football? Well anyway, back to the main event.

Jeanette and I dated for a bit, and she decided that I was getting to be too interested in her. She told me that she did not want to continue dating. While we were not dating, I dated a girl from South America, and another that worked at the book store. A boy that knew Jeanette previously had a date with her. Albert VanLewen came to our apartment and asked if he could use the shower and get ready for their date. He was talking about how nice and pretty Jeanette was. I don't think that he knew that she and I had been dating. (Maybe he did.)

Jeanette called her mother one weekend and talked to her about how there was this guy she had been dating, but that he was moving to fast, so she called off dating. They way she put it was to "get lost".

One summer afternoon day Jeanette was out at the pool. The pool was between the two apartment buildings where Jeanette and I resided. Girls in one building and boys in the other. My apartment was the end apartment in the boys building, closest to the pool. The pool was circled by a tall wooden fence. I retrieved a large pitcher of water, ice cold water, and crept up to the edge of the fence. I heaved the water over the fence toward the spot that I knew Jeanette was sunning on the pool deck. I heard a shriek and the question, "WHO DID THAT?"

I headed across the pavement to my apartment and sat in the kitchen. The door was open. I watched as Jeanette came across the parking lot looking for the culprit. She headed straight to my apartment and asked who did it. I said, "Who? Me?" Others that were about vouched that it was not me because I had been sitting there.

My room mates, Chris Meng, and Dean Kemsley were also dating. They were dating Jeanette's room mates. Chris Meng asked if Jeanette and I would like to go with him and Mary Gelder on a date. We went to Salt Lake City (a 40 minute drive away) and visited the Visitor's Center near the Salt Lake City Temple. On the way home I worked up my courage and asked Jeanette if she would marry me. Her answer was short and ambiguous. She said, "Are you kidding?" I responded, "No."

We dated some more. I was poor. I made a buy on a bargain ring at a nearby jeweler. We were going to go for a picnic at "Bridal Veil Falls" up Provo Canyon. I told her I had to stop and pick up something before we went on the picnic. I picked up the ring then placed the ring box in the bag that Jeanette had prepared for our picnic meal. When we arrived at the spot where we were to have the picnic I was busting with anticipation. She finally took the box and realized I meant for her to open it. It is a good thing it was dark and that she had teary eyes. The diamond looked bigger that way. We smiled until our cheeks hurt.

Later when Jeanette called her mother to tell her the news, her mother retorted, "Did he slow down, or did you catch up?"

We were married in December on dead day, the day after class and before finals. Dean Kemsley and Kristen Killpack (our room mates) were married a couple weeks later.


  1. I would have told you to get lost after the cold water pitcher. I'm glad Jeanette didn't.

    Happy Birthday, Friend!

  2. thanks for sharing such romantic thoughts! I hope you are still being romantic even today!

  3. I love the part about the dark night and tears in her eyes making the diamond appear bigger.

    Brandy had the same type of experience early on in our engagement minus the tears.

  4. What makes something romantic?


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