Imagine the surprise when someone asks me where I met my husband of 39 years….. “at a funeral,” I say. Despite the sadness of the day, it was our beginning.
I was a sophomore at Arizona State University in the spring of 1971 when I saw an ad for a ranch job. The ranchers, Paul and Julia Riggs and their son, Roger, of Pearce, were friends of my parents. I told them I could help for the summer. They hired me and I learned shortly that Julia was battling cancer. One day Julia showed me a clipping from the Douglas Dispatch of Roger’s friend who was serving in the Army Reserve.
By the end of June, our Julia passed. At the reception, a young man caught my eye. As the ladies passed, he tipped his cowboy hat and spoke. I recognized him as the soldier in the newspaper! I stayed on for the rest of the summer and we’d often go to Roger’s ranch. We’d cross Rucker Creek and Paul told me that’s where the soldier lived.
My junior year went by, and in June, I attended Roger’s wedding, which the soldier was in. In the fall, Paul asked if I could come over to cook for fall round-up. The soldier came, too. Come December, he came with Roger to Phoenix and I joined them for the Horse Races and our first date at the Hotel Westward Ho.
In January, I began my student teaching and here came Valentines, weekends at the ranch, meeting my parents, etc. I was hired to be the Home Economics teacher at Willcox High School. Christmas….. engagement ring……wedding June 8th. My teaching career lasted 180 days and my new home was in Rucker Canyon with the cowboy/soldier, L.E. “Larry” Moore, Jr. And he still tips his hat to the ladies, young and old!