I found this photo, below, on the Internet and that is not me on the ladder feeding dead fish to two dolphins as they jump towards my outstretched hands, but it could have been! I did that! This is the exact same theater I worked in.
This one IS me with a dead fish in my mouth practicing a new trick that didn't go so well. I got a nice black eye from a fast moving rostrum to the face.
We put on five shows a day. I had a dressing room. It was fun.
Ted also worked at "Marriot's" that year. He'd worked there for several years by that time, ever since before the park opened. His house was just down the road. He was 20 years old, and working his way through college. His job wasn't as fun as mine. He was in maintenance, and among other things, one of his responsibilities was to get Wilderness Theater cleaned up and ready for show time each morning. He did that by hosing down the theater seats with a giant fire hose. These are the very seats he had to clean. This is where I first saw him. Right there, in those seats! With a giant fire hose in his hands. I called him "the hoser." He was tall and tan, and had jet black hair. I thought he was beautiful.
Then one day, July 27th, 1982, my life was changed forever.
This is Ted before I met him.
Look at that beautiful black hair. (Oh my...)
On our first date, I had asked Ted if he'd consider growing a beard. He asked me if I'd consider growing my hair long. This is us on Thanksgiving of that year, exactly four months after we met. He's had a beard and I've had long hair ever since.
It's been exactly 30 years since that day....that perfect, wondrous day that all the future happiness of the last 30 years hinged upon. It's been 30 years since I found the other half of me. It's been exactly 30 years today since God favored me with a blessing I would never deserve. I'm older now....but I'm not. It's been a long, long time since then.....but it was yesterday.