t find worthy of a stop. Around midnight, the train crossed the Ohio River into the State of Ohio. We were quickly leaving the Allegheny Mountains behind us. The piedmont area was slowly becoming flatter, and almost every acre of available land was now cleared and plowed. My thoughts returned to Julie.
# # #
We began dating shortly after we met, and after our first kiss, we never went out with another person during our senior year in high school. As the autumn of 1964 became the winter of 1965, we were largely inseparable on Friday and Saturday evenings. We exchanged matching friendship rings on Christmas Eve, and we celebrated New Year’s Eve at a quiet little restaurant in Potomac called Old Angler’s Inn. In the span of about two-seconds that evening, she was the last girl I kissed in 1964 and the first girl I kissed in 1965. We took our college boards together in late January, and we attended President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Inauguration in the snow on the National Mall on January 20 as my high school’s band and drill team proudly marched in the Inauguration Day Parade. On February 6, I was accepted for admission at Creighton. Julie was accepted to Ole Miss about two weeks later. These events made us realize that our time together was running out.
As high school graduation approached, I began sadly anticipating the time when Julie would no longer be an everyday part of my life. She attended my graduation ceremonies at St. John’s and I attended her graduation activities at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School. My parents liked her very much, and I think her parents had accepted me as a suitable boy to date their only daughter. Sadly, we had only three months of summer left, and we wanted to make them very special.
To earn some extra spending money, I took a summer job at a McDonald’s in Rockville and she worked as a waitress at a restaurant called Hot Shoppes in downtown Bethesda. We coordinated our work schedules so I could pick her up when her work shift ended in the evening. We would often take the long way home. While we spent many summer evenings trying to unravel the great mysteries burning inside our teenage bodies, we needed to find a special place for us to be alone, unencumbered, and safe. The back seat of my Buick was clearly not the answer. In late July, an opportunity almost fell into our laps - a place where all of my dreams would suddenly come true.
On many weekends during that summer, we would get into my car and drive off to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a day at the shore. Being only of high school age, our folks would never agree to let us spend the night at the beach. However, our parents permitted us to go on day-trips but only if certain rules were satisfied. I would pick her up at seven o’clock in the morning, and after a three-hour drive, we would arrive at the Delaware beaches. After a day of fun in the surf, we would be back in Bethesda by ten o’clock that evening - suntanned, exhausted, and usually sober. We always hoped we...