How we met–Part 2

3 Jun

Beauty had escaped the picnic, and gone to the car, where she promptly fell fast asleep. I quickly came to the definite impression that she was rather dull.

Later, after the picnic, we headed for M’Goo’s down on Hollywood Boulevard—Cindy beside me, and Mary by the door. If memory serves, M’Goo’s showed silent movies like the Keystone Cops, Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd. Honky-tonk piano notes bounced through the air, and crazy waiters wore straw hats and garters on their sleeves. We had a fabulously-fun time! I did not need an eraser to remove the word “dull” from my vocabulary forever.

Deciding to have dessert at House of Pies in Glendale, we headed for the car. I got behind the wheel and turned to say something to Cindy, only to find Mary beside me. I remember hoping my surprise wasn’t audible. So much for maintaining composure. As the story goes, Cindy started to get in, and Mary took her hip and blasted Cindy right out of her way. I think I learned that from Cindy at our 25th Anniversary Party.

That night was June 4th. Our first date was the next evening, at the Reuben E. Lee. The Los Angeles Times would write, on the restaurant’s June, 2007 demise, age “hasn’t eased the ache of Southern Californians who had long mooned over Newport Beach’s kitschy smokestack riverboat… the faux paddleboat”.

Four months later, one of those “God-things” happened. I was about to complete my training and go to my first duty assignment to begin working on B-52s. Being from Burbank, and being ‘head-over-heels’ with a girl from Encino, you can understand why I was not thrilled to get orders to Griffiss AFB, northeast of Syracuse (New York.) The bad-news / good-news was that my father picked right then to have his first heart attack. My amended orders were to March AFB in Riverside.

I came home in early November, and took leave before heading to March. That was when the next “God-thing” happened. Beauty and I drove out to March the week before I was to report so I would know exactly where to go. We’re in the Squadron Office: I’m talking to the Sergeant about what to expect. In a lull in the conversation, Beauty suddenly asks the Sergeant, “Excuse me, are you Chipper Byrne?”

My mouth falls open, Sgt. Byrne’s mouth falls open, and we are both looking at her. Quite matter of factly, she says, “I’m Mary Olds.” Chipper flashes a huge smile. Their parents had been very close friends for years. What are the odds? Anyway, Ralph (he no longer encouraged the use of ‘Chipper’) occasionally gave me Friday night rides into LA, where Mary would pick me up.

We eventually became engaged while I was on 1972 temporary duty in U-Tapao, Thailand.

I returned in June, and
we were married in a
beautiful ceremony in her parents’ backyard in July.

Next month, we celebrate our 40th Anniversary. She deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian award in the United States. She has earned it.

Should that not be forthcoming, I will gladly present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award for being the highlight and the delight of my life.


One Response to “How we met–Part 2”


  1. Raine ‘N Blessings « Burbank High Class of 1968 - June 4, 2012

    […] false teeth! Thanks so much for looking, Steve, because these pictures are just priceless! His latest post has some great photos of their wedding, which took place in her parents’ […]

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