castle on mountain

His pick-up line: “I see you won the same contest . . .”

Ann, from A Rendezvous to Remember, Ch 1: Goodbye, Boulder, October 1959, Alamosa, Colorado

Have you ever thought about how little things can provide hints to the course of your life: a chance meeting by mail, or in the street; a conversation overheard in a café; a missed plane connection; a letter out of the blue? Here’s one that I first ignored, but shouldn’t have:

“’Dear Miss Garretson.’ That’s how Terry started his first letter to me.” As I recount in Sting Ray Summer, “He’d written to me my senior year after my essay, ‘Why I Want to be a Newspaperman (woman)’ won me a trip to Detroit to represent Colorado at the Ford Teenage Press Conference for the unveiling of their hot new model: the Falcon.” A chance meeting? Really?

“Our high schools were just 30 miles apart in southern Colorado’s isolated San Luis Valley, and he’d won the contest the previous year. He wrote to encourage me to enroll in the University of Colorado, which had a first-rate journalism program. Confession: I didn’t answer his letter—I had hopes of attending a private college.

“Besides, I had heard Terry was ‘conceited’.”

A chance meeting leads to my new best friend

Terry at Ford Teenage Press Conference, 1958

Then, whaddyaknow? I wound up at CU in the fall of 1960 . . . met Terry my first week at the school newspaper, the Colorado Daily . . . we became best friends for four years. And the rest? It’s now memoir, A Rendezvous to Remember. Wow. I never imagined I would wind up married to the author of that random letter! (I still have the letter, by the way.) But was it a chance meeting—or an omen?

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