He always wondered why he felt drawn to an ordinary green house, until he found out who lived in it.
- Posted on May 26, 2020
I first noticed the house in the summer of 1958. It was on East Sixteenth Street in the suburb of San Diego where I lived. A new through street had been completed that spring, and I now passed by the house occasionally on my way home.
The house was unremarkable. Pale green and on the north side of the street. A compact, one-story home, no different from the others on the block. So why couldn’t I keep my eyes off it when I passed by? I felt drawn to it.
Summer turned to fall. I started studying photography at San Diego Junior College. The house and its peculiar pull faded from my mind as something else caught my attention—a pretty, red-haired classmate named Ruth. Halfway through the semester, I finally got the courage to ask her out.
“Les Brown and his orchestra are playing at the Balboa Park Club,” I said to her one day after class. “Would you like to go with me?”
“That sounds like fun,” she said.
Neither Ruth nor I could drive, so I convinced my younger brother to bring his own date to the dance. That way, he could give us a lift. On Friday night, we drove to the address Ruth had given me. “Should be coming up on the next block,” I said.
I counted the numbers as we went: 2215, 2217, 22… “There it is!” I said. My brother pulled into the driveway. “This is your home?” I said when Ruth answered the door.
“Yes, my father lives here,” she said. “I’m staying with him while I go to college.”
Now I knew what was so special about that ordinary, pale green house on the north side of East Sixteenth Street. It was the young lady inside. She’s now been my wife for 60 years.
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