Odyssey to Happiness

SWMBO and Rod grow up together

SWMBO is originally from Beamsville, Ontario, on the Niagara Peninsula, about thirty miles or so northwest of Buffalo. I’m originally from Jamestown, New York, about sixty five miles south of Buffalo.

My parents moved us to Hollywood, Florida, in 1956 and I attended elementary, junior high, and high school there. After stints at two local junior colleges, finally receiving an Associate degree in Aviation, I got hired by the FAA in 1968 and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. Hold that thought.

SWMBO goes to Mayos

In the meantime, SWMBO went to nursing school in Hamilton, Ontario, then got a scholarship to the Anesthesia School at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. While there, she met Mickey, (originally from North Carolina), who had been living in or near Orlando where she’d had a long term relationship with a doctor. I know this sounds too complicated, but Mickey is an integral part of the story.

SWMBO comes to Florida

After anesthesia school, SWMBO worked on staff for a year at the Clinic, but Mickey returned to Florida, taking a position in Jacksonville. A year later, SWMBO, visiting Mickey for a week (and thoroughly fed up with Minnesota weather), accepted an offer at that hospital and moved there. Now, hold that thought—back to my story…

I had been living in a swinging singles apartment complex where I had met Mickey a couple of months earlier. I was attracted to her because, as Andy Griffith once said, “nature had been kind to her.” Despite my best efforts she wanted nothing to do with me (not for cause—although that couldn’t be ruled out—but because of her doctor interest). She did, however, tell me about a friend who was coming to visit whom she thought I should meet. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to me, I missed that visit, but a month later, having accepted the aforementioned position, SWMBO moved into the same apartment complex, and here is where the stories converge.

Two days later I saw her on her apartment balcony (although I didn’t realize that was the girl Mickey had told me about). I went over and introduced myself and we’ve been together ever since. That was June, 22, 1970 (that long lost date was uncovered during a recent cleaning frenzy when SWMBO found an old calendar page with a simple notation, “met Rod“ on it—why she still had it is another question…) and we were married on October 31, 1970. Mickey was the Maid of Honor. We’d known each other five months 131 days (we redid the math which further emphasizes the following), what were we thinking!!!??

So anyway, we grew up about 75 miles apart (as the crow flies), watching the same TV stations, had disparate odysseys away from home, both winding up in Jacksonville, Florida, nearly 900 miles from Buffalo. Kismet is a word that often colors our telling of the tale.

We move to Illinois

We stayed in Jacksonville for three years, then moved to Illinois, living in Carol Stream for five years and Aurora for 21.
(Little known fact, even to people living there: Carol Stream is not a geographical feature. Carol was the daughter of Jay Stream, who developed the community, and who was entertainer Wayne Newton’s manager for many years. You can look it up, as is often said.)

We come back home to Florida

When we retired we moved to Hollywood where we stayed for four years before finally being driven out by culture, condo living, and neighborhood demographics.
(The area of Hollywood that I grew up in actually wasn’t Hollywood, but unincorporated West Hollywood. It is about five or six miles southwest of our condo.)

At least we stayed in Florida

We bought the house near Daytona Beach in 2003.
(See elsewhere on the site for details about the remodeling we’ve been doing.)

Note the date above—we’re now at 47 years (on 22 June) and still counting. Whew!

Click here for the where-it-all-began  tour with pictures!

Last updated: 06 August 2017

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