The whole story...  

   It all began one beautiful spring day back in 1977.  The birds were chirping, a lovely, soft breeze was blowing... and I was bored.  I asked my mother if she'd like to go on a hike with me out at Lake Mead.  She was happy to go.  So happy that when a fellow that I'd had one date with called a few minutes later she invited him to go!  See, she had set up this date because he was the nephew of a friend of hers.  Our big date was dinner at a Denny's type restaurant, not because of the delicious food or captivating atmosphere, but because he had 2-for-1 newspaper coupons.   Entertainment after dinner consisted of sitting on sagging, webbed lawn chairs in the dirt front yard of his home and having a grand old talk.  This was, mind you, our first date.  I know what you're thinking.  After such an elaborate display of savoir faire, how could I not eagerly await our next excursion?  Call me hard to please, but there was no second date in my plans, and that's why with dismay I found myself the next day on the road to Lake Mead with Mom and coupon man.

   Walking over to the gathering hikers, I hummed a little tune to myself.  "Gloom, despair and agony on me.  Deep, dark depression, excessive misery -- "  Wait... What's this?  Cu-ute ranger!  Okay, so maybe this ain't gonna be so bad.  We had a lovely walk, but it was too short and included too many men who thought they were my boyfriend.  There was another hike scheduled the next day.  I asked Mom if she wanted to go, but made it clear that No One Else was being invited.

   This was a longer hike and I was able to have a few conversations with our ranger.  I drifted to the back of the pack and asked Mom to go up and see if she could find out if he was married.  Being the dutiful mother that she is, and also loving things like this, she eagerly made her way to the front.  After awhile she came back and said that she couldn't really tell, but she thought not.  Good enough for me!  After learning that he had a sail boat, and having experience sailing, I offered to crew with him if he ever needed someone.  Okay, so you can't really say a 16' sailboat needs a crew, but hey, I thought it was a pretty good opener.  I gave him my phone number and drove home leaving the ball in his court.

   The next evening the phone rang and the game was on!  We talked for over three hours.  He found out that my birthday was coming up in a few days and offered to take me out.  We went to the Starboard Tack restaurant and then downtown to the Golden Nugget for shrimp cocktails.  Not a coupon in sight!  If you're wondering about coupon man, he called me after my date with Steve and I told him that I wouldn't be able to go out with him because I was dating someone else.  He had been out of town for a few days and made a remark about someone else moving in on his girl while he was gone...  I remind you again, we'd had one date.
   And lest you think that I chased Steve until he caught me, he told me later that after the first hike he had written down my license plate number and was going to run it to get my name and address.

   A couple months later we spent a week sailing the lake from the Boulder Basin, through Boulder Canyon, across the Virgin Basin to Temple Bar and back.  Seven days, 24/7, on a 16' sailboat.  A good test of our compatibility, don't you think?  Of course nothing like the tests of the next 39 years, but here we are still in love, still in like, still appreciative of each other, and still happy to be together.