Today is our 36th Wedding Anniversary. We were married in Edmonton on July 25th, 1981. That seems like a long time ago, but the years have flown by. Crazy really.
I met Dawn at a party.
Here’s our story……..
I was a DJ at 630 CHED and we ran a promotion called “The party patrol”. We would go to a listener’s house with a stack of Boston Pizzas, lots of soda pop, some large red foam rubber “Rock N Roll” dice, a handful of some of the top albums of the day…..on vinyl…….and our charm of course. Everyone was usually hammered by the time we got there so there was always a mix of intoxicated, “you guys are great………..you guys suck” ………fun!
It was well before smart phones, even before mobile phones, so we had to borrow the owner’s phone to call back to the station with live cut in’s. (I will not forget watching people’s faces while we were live on air from the party). We would also let the owner throw those dice in the living room or wherever, they were twice the size of milk cartons, and if they rolled a 6 and 3, they would win $1,000.00. Otherwise, they would win the corresponding amount of albums. It was fun. And you can imagine we met a lot of different people.
Dawn was at this one party with some friends and I thought she was very pretty…….I mean very pretty!!! (permed hair, 80’s designer jeans and all) so, Mr. confidence goes over to chat her up. She tells the story that I walked up and said, ‘Hi I’m Danny Kaye from 630 CHED”…….said she ” I never heard of you or the station”. I knew I liked her right off the bat. Later that night, she and her 2 friends went back to the station with us. Jay Hamilton in his car, a black corvette, and me in my white corvette…….don’t be impressed, we did not make enough money to drive corvettes….the payments were half our income. Anyhow, we toured the ladies around the station for a bit at 2 in the morning and then we drove Dawn and her friends back to her apartment in Millwoods. It soon became 5 in the morning and I had to work at Noon on the air. I forgot her full name and I wanted to ask her out, or at least phone her sometime……….so I ingeniously asked her if she was in the phone book…..she said ‘yes, of course”……I said “prove it….show me”. So she grabs the book, looks up her name and pointed to it……”see right there”………….I just ripped the page out and said, ‘thanks, I’ll call you”. I was so smooth. Jay hung around at the apartment for a bit and I went home. The next day, I did Noon to 6 on air and Jay was doing 6-Mid…….when he came into the control room I asked how he “made out?”, and he said, ‘Nothing doing’. Good, I thought, I will now call Dawn as promised and ask her out. It’s funny how life works.
I’m a bit fuzzy on the exact details, but I remember calling her and making a date for a drink.
And then I stood her up.
She was all dressed up at work, selling racquetball club memberships out of a construction trailer, and I didn’t show up. Remember, those days, no mobile phones, no texts, no way to communicate except the landline phone. I ended up having to work on air but I never called her to tell her that. What a dick move. There’s more to this story later about me being a jerk. I ended up calling and she was mad but I said “sorry, I had to work……let’s reschedule”…….so we did, thankfully, and we had a drink at the Warehouse Restaurant lounge. As I recall, we had a couple of drinks.
Well, as Lou Christie sings, ‘Lighting Strikes”……..it was pretty awesome. She was awesome. As it turned out she would end up being my date to some of those CHED House Parties and everyone loved her….much more than Danny Kaye. She related to everyone and was so likable. I loved that. We spent more than a few moments getting chapped lips when we dated but that was all we did. My family and friends adored her. I did too.
So of course, with everything going so well, after a few months, I had to break up with her. What an idiot.
I guess I just felt it was too much too soon. Ridiculous. But I was 21 and she was 19. We were young. Well I was. My family was so pissed off at me for breaking it off. I remember going to her apartment to pick up some of my stuff and she was crying and I was so sad, and felt like a complete A-hole. She reminds me to this day that I broke her heart…….argghh!!!!
Fast forward a few months of summer to the fall of 1980……I get a answering machine message (no voice mail) from her friend who invited me to her 20th Birthday party on October 3rd. She said something like Dawn still likes you and would love to see you. I didn’t go, but ended up calling her and inviting her out to our friends Rainer and Louise’s house in Spruce Grove after Thanksgiving dinner.
It was Amazing!!!!
Cue Lou Christie again…..Lighting Struck again and again and again………BOOM.
She went to Vancouver for Christmas and I dropped her at the airport, she gave me gifts of a sweater and shirt. Over Christmas, I just knew she was the one.
I asked her to marry me on December 26th 1980 in my Mom and Dad’s kitchen.
Well, 2 kids, 2 Daughter in laws, 11 houses, 3 Grand Kids and 36 years of life later……….what can I say? It really is a box of chocolates?
She has been a fantastic wife, friend, Mother, and now Grand Mother. I have been a typical man, not perfect by any means, but unquestionably in love with her.
This 36th year of marriage gave us a challenge. Dawn was diagnosed with a very aggressive carcinoid tumor last fall. It was successfully removed by surgery, along with a decent chunk of her insides. The pathology confirmed the nastiness of the discovery, and we are lucky it was found early. She is cancer free as of her last check up. I can only imagine the toll it takes on her knowing that her future is uncertain. As is all of our futures. She has handled it with grace and dignity and a great sense of gratitude for what she has in her life and along with the fear, a wonderful hopeful attitude to live everyday to its fullest.
So, it’s number 36. Wow! To all our family and friends, thanks for being in our lives.
And Happy Anniversary Dawn Elizabeth. I love you.