I knew "of" him, before I ever met him. I attended Towers Elementary School in Torrance and he attended Carl Steele Elementary just across Anza Ave, less than a mile from my school. I don't remember how or why I knew his name, but he must have been something special for us kids at Towers to care about anyone outside our great school.
Many weekends throughout the summer, my parents let me invite friends to their vacation home at Lake Nacimiento. We would go as a group, the girls would sleep in the house and the guys would sleep in a huge room above the garage. My mom would wake us up early and we would all go water skiing while the lake was calm. She would drive the jet boat and she taught everyone to ski. She then taught Curt to drive the boat so he could pull her skiing. My dad was happy to let Curt do the driving, as he had chores to do around the property. I don't remember shopping, planning or buying food for these weekend trips, I guess my mom did it all. Wow, thanks mom & dad, you guys were so awesome to have us all there!
Our Junior & Senior years were full of all the typical high school activities. We attended all the football games, dances, proms and parties. We went to lunch together everyday, usually with a group of friends. We enjoyed Perry's Pizza at Del Amo Mall, Taco Bell in Redondo Beach, Del Taco on Del Amo or Steve's Char-broiler. One time we were having lunch at Del Taco and Curt was fiddling with a packet of hot sauce. Back then the hot sauce was in little trays with a cover you would pull back so you could dip into it. Anyways, as he was fiddling the packet suddenly split open and squirted all over my white sweater. I mean all over it. There was no time to go home and change, so I grabbed Curt's jacket and ran for class. I remember sitting in short-hand, sweating and smelling like hot sauce. I was so embarrassed and nervous that someone would notice, it seemed that the clock was barely moving. I made it through and to this day whenever Curt is fiddling with a packet of hot sauce or ketchup, I gently remove it from his hand. The memory comes back and we both smile!
Much of our high school years were spent surrounded by friends. It seemed we never did anything alone. We would cruise the beach, enjoy the Spring Car Races at Ascot or go to parties. Always with a group of friends. George, Steve-O, Ray, Jim, Darrin and Michelle, along with many others are still special friends to this day. We have many memories that we all cherish from those days.
Curt & I graduated West High School together in 1984. I decided to attend college in Texas. Leaving my parents, my friends, my home, and most of all, my Curt was very emotional. Curt gave me a teddy bear and a ring the night before I left. We hugged and cried and were nervous about the future. We decided to break up in order to date other people. The morning I left for Texas, he stood in my driveway, waving until I could no longer see him.
In August of 1986, Curt & I had been out with friends celebrating a birthday at Black Angus in Torrance. Driving home in his 1981 black Chevy Step-side truck, with music blaring and us laughing, Curt suddenly blurted out; "Would you marry me?" I said "yes!" The next morning Curt called and asked me if I remembered what he had asked me last night. I said "yes?" He came over to my house and we went across the street to the park to talk. We sat at Entradero Park on the bench swing and talked about our future. Before college, we were not sure that we were meant for each other. After dating others while we were apart, we knew that we had something special. We planned our future on that bench swing and decided we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
At the time of our engagement we had been together for four years. Curt knew since the beginning of our relationship that I wanted to save myself for marriage and he never once, in four years, pressured me to go against my desire. He was an honorable man back then and still is today. We set the date for our wedding for June 4, 1988...to be continued.