Every time I drive west on I-820 on Fort Worth’s northwest side I pass by where “Stephanie” and I first talked about marriage. It was not at some fancy restaurant or such but under a tree on the dam at Marine Creek Lake across from her house and Tarrant County College’s big northwest campus. I was out running around yesterday and took a picture of it too. It is winter now but it was summer then.
This note and several more in “Days Remembered” are set in northwest Fort Worth. That part of town is somewhat off the radar screen since it is not the “cool” downtown or West 7th Street areas. But it is filled with people and lives just the same. This note is one example of that. I’ll post more from there since every place there are people there are stories to tell.
In the movies, we see a man proposing marriage to his love in some dramatic setting like a fancy restaurant or in the natural grandeur of some majestic outdoor place. Instead of that type of almost mythical scene, we talked about getting married while sitting on some rocks at Marine Creek Lake, watching the boat races and drinking some Coors Light in the hot summer heat of Texas one August day.
Yes, leave it to us to do something in a way that no one else had ever done it. Now the setting in which we decided to get married made the decision no less important than a wedding decision made in a more traditional place. It was simply how we made the decision that was kind of funny and not so dramatic.
As I said, we were sitting on some rocks out in the sun, watching the annual boat races. It was quiet after some of the loud race boats had zoomed by, but then it was really silent— except for a little wind, the waves lapping up on the rocks, and the sound of people talking in the distance. A few birds circled overhead, too, occasionally chirping something out to each other. It was a fine day to be outside.
We started talking about something. Exactly what escapes me now, but I said something in reference to couples breaking up. You replied, “What if we don’t ever break up?”
I paused for a brief second, taking a swig of beer and said something back like we weren’t going to break up. Bingo. And that was that. We talked some more and decided somewhat by accident to get married that day in August 2006 by a tree you could see from Loop 820 that peeked over the top of the dam.
So, you never knew what you might get at a boat race. Some got a prize for winning a race, others just walked around and drank oceans of cold beer in the sun. And a few others, like us, got engaged to be married.