How We Met
How we met is like a story from a paper back romance novel. The stuff that makes people say, "no way, you didn't", but we did.
I had started working at my third job as a computer programmer after graduating from college at the age of 27. (My first computer job was a co-op with Houston Lighting and Power during the summer of 1987. After the summer, I got a job programming with a small company until graduation.) I finally started dating after nearly 5 years, because of college time and work demands. The company I was working at received a bi-weekly business paper which contained 4 to 6 pages of personal Ads. For three months my friends and I at work always loved to look at them and laugh and think about "what if we responded to one?"
Well, I decided to put an Ad in for the August release. I got two replies, where Johnna's was the first. If you click on the hyperlink, you will see her letter and my Ad is in the bottom right corner.
I called Johnna at her work and managed to pronounce her name right, and I stunned her because of my name. Johnna had dated a Keith for five years at the same time I had my last romance. We arranged to meet in a neutral, public parking lot and we went and talked for hours at a Benigans Restaurant. When I first saw her pull up and get out of her car, I was stunned! I thought, she is too beautiful (shot 2), no way she going to be interested in me. She drove up in a brand new Mazada RX7 sports car. Well, we hit it off and we had our first date on my Birthday, September 3rd.
The most important thing about our first meeting was we talked about things you normally don't, due to the circumstances of how we met. I found out that Johnna matched every item on my list on the woman I wanted to marry which I had written some 3 plus years before. I didn't let Johnna know about my list, but it made me very excited and very nervous about the possibility!
My close friends called her, Miss Wow! Most of them met her at a beach party in Freeport, where she wore a bikini that blew all the guys away and made the other girls envious. (All the other girls were wearing one piece bathing suits.) After a few weeks, I knew I was falling for Johnna. We spent entire weekends together and many week nights together and it still wasn't long enough.
After dating for 3 months we got married on December 3rd, 1988 by a Justice of the Peace, Judge Alexander Green, who was also the president of the Houston NAACP. He made the wedding special even though it was at a court house in 3rd Ward. We later had the official White Wedding on March 11th, 1989 at Saint Vincent DePaul Catholic Church which there was about two hundred and fifty people attending. It was a wonderful day but it was also tempered with some sorrow, as my mother was there and she was dying of cancer. My mother didn't live to see our first child, Derek.
By the way the second reply I got from my Ad, I gave to my friend, Karl Ebert who dated that girl for 9 months.
Picture of us in our first house
Our first Christmas together 1988 at Johnna's parent's house