I am not into chick flicks. I think they are overdramatic and characteristically predictable. I would much prefer to go to a movie where something explodes. But I do appreciate a real love story. I want to read a love story worth reading. Tomorrow I am going to tell one to an audience that I predict will be fairly large. It goes like this…
Ira Lee met Joanne in 1945 in
. I do believe it was love at first sight for the 14 year old boy. But they did not start officially “dating” until the summer of 1946, after both of them had turned 15. Ira worked at the local theater, so the lovebirds managed to have the balcony all alone during the featured movie. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that! 1948 soon rolled around which brought high school graduation for the couple in love. Dennison, Texas
Joanne started to college at what is now The University of North Texas in
Denton. Ira went out of state to a private school in Tennessee. But he soon got wind that there were other suitors calling on Joanne in Denton. He made a quick trip back to Dentonto check on that situation during his freshman year. And likewise Joanne found out about certain Southern girls from Tennesseethat were showing interest in Ira Lee, so she made a cross country trip to the college where he was attending. By the time their sophomore year in college had been completed, they decided to end such nonsense. They married in June of 1950.
An adventure in marriage began that June day that was destined to last over 62 years. They had children together. They were later blessed with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They experienced all of the ups and downs of life. and I can testify from firsthand experience that they were still very much in love the day that Joanne left this world two weeks ago.
Tomorrow I will speak at the memorial service honoring her 81 years on this earth. As I visited with Ira this morning, I could tell in his eyes that his body was sitting in my office, but his heart had traveled back to the summer of 1946. The manner in which he spoke of his beloved wife would have touched even the most hard hearted among us. His devotion to her was unquestioned. Joanne was his first love.
How does a man function without someone whom he has loved since he was 15 years old? I don’t have an answer. If you are interested in a real love story, you might be looking in the wrong place. What I do know is if you want to hear a true love story it might be a good idea to speak with an 81 year old man. You might learn something.