Lucky me on this Valentine's Day

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 03:47 PM.

There is no danger in my wife Arlene seeing this column before it’s published in this edition because we get the Havelock News by mail. The paper doesn’t arrive in our mailbox in Swansboro until a day or two after it actually prints and is on the streets.

I wrote "danger" above because I don’t want Arlene to see this column before it’s published. This column is about her. That’s why.

Many of us celebrate Valentine’s Day in one way or another. But like many who choose to marry on or around Valentine’s Day, Arlene and I also celebrate our wedding anniversary this week. Our 21st to be exact. Lucky me, I was fortunate enough to win her hand in marriage in the old Presbyterian Church in New Bern in 1992.

Nothing was preordained about our meeting, let alone our marrying. First, I’m a double damn Yankee as I’ve mentioned in this column in the past. What makes me a Yankee is that I was born and bred in the great state of Ohio (about as far north in Ohio as one can get without getting wet) well north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

I’m a damn Yankee because I came to North Carolina for a "visit" (assigned here by the Marines) and then stayed.

And I’m a double damn Yankee because I had the audacity as a damn Yankee to steal a North Carolina gal as my wife. North Carolina gals, as anyone knows, and as General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board sang, are the "best in the world." I discovered General Johnson was right as he could be. Carolina gals are, in fact, the best gals this old nation rears up.

Second, these wonderful Carolina gals don’t just take up with any guy who comes sniffin’ around. Especially Arlene, who’s the daughter of a retired Marine Corps master gunnery sergeant who forbade her to date Marines when she was young. He knew the nature of Marines being one himself.

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