Every Saturday in 1959, when I was 13, I’d beg my mom to let me do her shopping for her at the Pottsville, Pennsylvania, farmers market. If she didn’t need anything, I’d still walk down to the market and stroll around, checking out Steve from afar.
Steve was 18 and worked at the Carl Farms stand in the market. Just the fact that he was five years older than I was made me feel safe, ensuring that he wouldn’t notice my adoration. Oh, how Steve could sling those 10-pound bags of potatoes! I was so impressed with him—and his black hair, slicked back into a stylish ducktail, didn’t escape my notice, either.
One sad Saturday, Steve was nowhere to be found. I asked his boss about it, and the gruff farmer said, “Oh, he joined the Army. He’s gone.” I thought I’d sulk forever, and I probably did—for a week.
Jumping ahead six years, I was working as a bank teller when word went around that three single guys were starting work on Monday. We girls couldn’t wait to check them out.
I walked in Monday, and there sat Steve. I quickly phoned my mom and said, “You’re not going to believe who started working here today!” She remembered him, too. I guess all my gushing had an effect.
Within two days, I was told to train Steve to be a teller. Within six months, we were dating. Three years later, on Dec. 7, 1968, we were married.
Barbara Conage • Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania