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A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER
Terry Marshall and Ann Garretson Marshall
THE TRUE STORY OF A SOLDIER, A PACIFIST, AND THE WOMAN WHO LOVED THEM BOTH
“A love story you’ll never forget.”
– Hope Edelman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Motherless Daughters
A Rendezvous to Remember
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    2 days ago

    National holidays? We love them.Tomorrow is a memorable one: 26 de Julio—National Revolution Day . . . in Cuba!Yes, Cuba is a hot topic these days—as it has been for the past six decades. We know that. For some folks, just mentioning Che Guevara and Fidel Castro or the US embargo or Guantanamo or even the current street protests in Cuba can start a fight.Frankly, we’ve got some pretty strong feelings about Cuba and US policy toward Cuba—particularly America’s prison on Guantanamo. But today, we ache for the people of Cuba, so let’s leave aside politics for a day. For us, travel is about people as well as places. And if you are open—and attentive—good people will find you and enrich your life.To mark this Cuban holiday, we want to introduce you to a charming soul we met one night in Havana. Here’s the setting . . . Earlier tonight we dined in the rooftop Café Laurent overlooking the city. I had rabbit. Why not? Cuban food is far more than beans and rice, washed down by mojitos.After a late dinner, we strolled the Malecón, Havana’s famed seawall promenade, all the way to Paseo de Martí, a tree-lined, marble-paved boulevard stretching from la Habana centro (Central Havana) to la Habana Vieja (Old Havana). It’s nearly midnight. A few stragglers linger in the sidewalk café at Hotel Inglaterra, a 19th Century national landmark fronting central park. No fiery rhythms echo from raucous cabarets—not a strain of mamba, salsa, timba; not even Guantanamera. Bourbon Street it isn’t! Even Cuba’s classic American cars seem bedded down for the night.We’re in a section of the city where many of the classical colonial buildings of Old Havana haven’t yet been restored. Dim lights from shuttered buildings in various stages of disintegration and renovation barely penetrate the canopy of darkness. Our footsteps seem an aberration in this otherwise silent neighborhood.No bright street lights or heavy traffic here, merely an occasional dimly lit window from a building that looks otherwise uninhabited. No throngs of revelers; only an occasional passerby scurrying along to . . . where? Home? Sleep after an exhausting day?Suddenly, from the dark, a female voice floats over us, soft, yet penetrating: “Perhaps you are American?” A black woman clad in pale blue materializes from the darkness.How did she know we’re American? We don’t ask that question; it’s been obvious to everyone we’ve met here.Her English is impeccable, with a hint of . . . where? Jamaica? We stroll together, we three, sharing stories. She teaches French. Yes, she studied in Jamaica and France. She grew up in Cuba, the daughter of an Antiguan.She’s not free to express herself here, she says matter-of-factly, “No one is.” She wants to move to Antigua, but she can’t leave. “Few of us can,” she says. She’s not complaining, merely stating her own reality of life in Cuba.Separately, Annie and I wonder what she wants from us. We wait for a pitch. None comes. At a side street, she says, “I must turn off here.” We exchange e-mail addresses, and she goes on her way.Ann and I continue on. We’re both embarrassed that we assumed she was after something, that she was less than a friendly soul.That’s it: a brief meeting. A fond memory. We think of her every time we hear of a new crisis in Cuba. And every time we wish her—and her compatriots—well. She’s not our only memory of Cuba. In fact, come meet other folks who populate fond recollections of Cuba. We’ve included some of our favorite photos. Check them out at: terryannmarshall.com/cuba-blog/ Then, take a break and listen to a rendition of Guantanamera that will both delight you and pull at your heartstrings; it’s at youtu.be/blUSVALW_Z4. —Terry Photos:Our charming midnight companion, illuminating the darkness with her brilliant smileThe Malecón: Havana’s seaside promenade: Note especially an ocean wave that has just crashed the seawall, flinging its spume high into the sunsetRestoration candidates in Old Havana: Note the bits of light in the center building, whispering of indigents finding shelter from the night ... See MoreSee Less
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    7 days ago

    TO TERRY: SOMETHING CATCHES AT THE THOUGHT OF MARRIAGEYou’re invited: We’re reliving the highlights of our life-altering Summer of ’64—as seen from both perspectives. Join us at terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/Monday, July 20, 1964, Landshut, Germany. I still had no answer to Terry’s proposal, but I couldn’t postpone a reply any longer. I wrote, “Silverton, more than any other thing, brings me close to you because it typifies a way of life. The only thing I’ve figured out for sure this summer is that a woman marries far more than a husband. She weds a way of life she must also love.”I knew I would choose peace and the tranquility of the mountains as a way of life—if I could only cut the powerful sinews that bound me to the military. Could I turn my back on my parents, my brother, and my life so far? That, in a nutshell, was the challenge. But I couldn’t even say it out loud.I told Terry how he and Jack were so much alike. Why not share the heartache I had subjected Jack to? I had to make Terry understand how difficult the decision was. I asked for more time, promised to call when I could, but concluded, “Somehow, something catches inside me with the thought of marriage right away.”Before noon, I addressed my letter to Terry in California, marched to the post office, and paid thirty-eight cents for an airmail special delivery response that was totally inadequate.—Ann §TO JACK: YOUR DEPARTURE LEAVES ME LESS THAN WHOLETuesday, July 21, 1964, Landshut. Early morning. A rumbling rattled my room. I knew that smell—diesel exhaust. I stumbled to the window. Across the parking lot, soldiers swarmed the BOQ like an invasion of ants, hauling boxes and duffel bags into belching trucks. Jack’s Sting Ray crawled up a ramp onto an auto transport. I was about to be left alone.How to say goodbye? There wouldn’t be a time or place for a proper farewell. But what about this: Send part of myself, a lock of hair. The thought yanked me from the window. I penned several versions of my parting note before I lit on this:“My dearest Jack, Your departure leaves me less than whole, for you are taking part of my heart with you. I know you can’t hold it in your hand when you think of me, so I’m sending this lock of hair that you can see, touch, even sniff (if you’re so inclined—heh), to remind you of our extraordinary summer—and to hold us till Johnstown.“No matter what happens, part of me will always belong to you. With my deepest love for all you have shared with me, and for the better person I have become by knowing you. Yours, Ann”Excerpts from Chapter 13, A Rendezvous to RememberSee updated entries on our Rendezvous Log, terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/ ... See MoreSee Less
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    1 week ago

    A LETTER FROM COLORADO: “MARRY ME”You’re invited: We’re reliving the highlights of our life-altering Summer of ’64—as seen from both perspectives. Join us at terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/Saturday, July 18, 1964, Landshut, Germany. After dinner and dancing, Bonner walked me back to the teachers’ quarters, angling past his room for my mail. “I shouldn’t have to tell you this again,” he said. “Don’t import your own men when you come to visit me.”He handed me a bundle of envelopes, all from Terry, all addressed in print-shop font, and as gaudy as circus flyers. Bonner was as steely eyed as a gunslinger, “And don’t break my best friend’s heart.” I retreated to my room, lined up Terry’s letters, and opened the special delivery one. At the top of the second page, I gasped. “Annie, I am announcing formally and officially that I am proposing to you. I want you to marry me.”Marry Terry? Now? What about the Peace Corps? I read quickly, determined to finish before tears spilled. Oh, I missed him so much. I did love him. But I loved Jack too. And tonight, somewhere along the German-Czech border, was the Other Guy—the one who had squired me around Europe for two glorious weeks, the one I would see tomorrow morning. He would read this news in my face. What would I tell him? What would I tell Terry?A silent scream wracked my insides. I don’t know! Don’t pressure me! Either of you!—Ann §ON THE ROAD IN CALIFORNIA . . . BUT THINKING OF EUROPESaturday, 18 July 1964, Los Gatos, California. We Marshalls—Mom, Pam, Randy, and I—took off early for northern California to see Mom’s sister, Clarice, an aunt I’d never met. After high school, Aunt Clarice had joined the Women’s Army Corps and got to see a bit of the world. At long last we’d get to meet the mysterious Aunt Clarice, soldier, world traveler.I pretended that California was as exotic as Europe—to bring Annie’s thoughts back to the US. “You would love Carmel,” I wrote, “no neon, no garish signs or billboards; quaint little shops with quality goods instead of schlock.”In Eureka, we spent the evening chatting with cousins every bit as delightful as the Kocher gang. Aunt Clarice was at least six feet tall, and Uncle Al at least six-four. I’d never met anyone so tall. Despite hitting it off with the Keister kids, by the time we finally trundled off to bed, I was missing Annie more than ever, and wrote her with a new confession: “I’ve been hit again with a desire to have children. I can’t think of anything greater than giving you a child we could raise and love and share—in a couple of years after you’ve taught for a while and I’ve gotten my M.A. “Last week, in Chinatown, I saw some beautiful silk shifts with splits up both sides that I wanted to get for you. I want to marry you, buy you a fancy wardrobe, and just sit around the house admiring you. We’d spend all our money on books and sexy clothing for you (and maybe a pair of socks for me once in a while).”—TerryExcerpts from Chapters 12 and 13, A Rendezvous to RememberSee updated entries on our Rendezvous Log, terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/ ... See MoreSee Less
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    Aeii, Time’s Running Out!
    May 26, 1964, Boulder, Colorado. Time’s running out! Annie leaves next week for Europe. She’ll be gone all summer . . . with that stud lieutenant in Germany. How did we ever get ourselves into this fix?—Terry https://terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/

    A Fine Parting Shot
    May 29, 1964, Boulder, Colorado. It took some cajoling, but Annie let me take a glamour shot of her. Her response: “OK, if it’s the Clothed Maja you want me to model and not that au naturel one you’re always raving about.”—Terry https://terryannmarshall.com/the-rendezvous-log/

    Saturday, May 16, 1964, Boulder, Colorado. Terry: On this day, 57 years ago, our excursion to Boulder Creek etched an image in my mind that will live forever: Lucky me. I saw Botticelli’s Birth of Venus come to life. #ARendezvoustoRemember https://terryannmarshall.com/relive-the-memories-with-us/

    Our fingers touched, as if drawn together by magnets. Electricity sizzled. Not as profound as God giving Adam the spark of life, but palpable enough to kindle a warm burn in the pit of my stomach. —Ann, Ch02, A Rendezvous to Remember, https://terryannmarshall.com/glimpses-quotes-of-note/

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