(CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth) City Manager Joe Thomas met his wife Mearl in Tucumcari and married her in 1970. Mearl said she used to take Joe’s motorcycle for rides by herself.
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked how participants met their spouses. Some responses:
Clovis residents find many paths to love
“I knew my spouse many years ago, in school. She used to go with my brother. After many years, marriages and divorces, we made connections. We started dating, having fun, and decided to be a couple. We each had a child, and she helped raise my son. After about 1 1/2 years we were married and have been together for over 20 years. She is my friend, companion and I love her very much. We are now raising a great grandson, and believe me that is an experience. We love him dearly.”
— H.M. Richards
“My wife and I met by chance at a dance. I just happened to be the disk jockey and a friend of mine just happened to know my wife to be. I had never seen her before and asked my friend if he knew her. It just so happens he did and he introduced us. We hit it off really well. For a little over a year we met every Friday as I DJed. I finally got up enough nerve to ask her to marry me. It's been 2 1/2 years now and I couldn't be happier.”
— Michael Williams
“Even though we both lived in a small town, we lived and worked in different circles. We would never have met. But when things are meant to be, the universe can work in strange ways. Thanks to the technology of the 21st century, I found my true love on Yahoo Personals.
“I was just recovering from a difficult divorce and decided I needed to start dating again. But, how? I didn’t want to do the bar scene, and didn't know any single men. So I decided to be brave and try Internet dating.
“I came across the ad of a most interesting man. He sounded quirky and unusual. I sent him an e-mail. Two days and 36 e-mails later, we decided we had to meet.
“We met at a local diner and we talked. And we talked and we talked and we talked. Then we talked some more.
“We found that we shared the same spiritual and moral beliefs, the same hopes and dreams, and the same needs and values. Suddenly, life made sense.
“Now, 18 months later, after taking our time and rebuilding faith and trust and love, we've decided to make a plan for the future. We bought an old Volkswagen van and we grow vegetables in the garden.
“Life doesn't get much better than this.”
— Gail Sharpe
“My buddy Stan and I were assigned to Lincoln Air Force Base in Nebraska in 1954. We were cruising the streets of Lincoln one weekend afternoon in early November in my brand new used Cadillac. Fresh from a 12-month tour in Korea, I was eager to tap Stan’s knowledge of the local girls.
“We had cruised for several blocks when suddenly Stan perked up and pointed out two girls coming out of a grocery store. ‘I know them; they're twins!’ he said. ‘Let's see if they want a ride home.’
“Laden with bags of groceries and having to walk several blocks to their apartment, the girls accepted the offer. Stan certainly knew his way around.
“Upon arriving at their apartment, we helped the twins carry their groceries in. We were then introduced to a third girl, the twins' roommate. To make a 50-year story short, the roommate and I became engaged three months later on Valentine's Day, 1955, and married May 28.
“Stan eventually married his sweetheart from Japan, and after a few years we lost track of the twins.”
— Bill Gaedke
“I met my husband on a blind date. On the first Saturday after my first week at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., I was sitting in the dorm lounge when my roommate came back from meeting her date. She had planned to go on a double date with her boyfriend, a friend of his and a girl I had known in high school.
“This girl, Winona, had qualities that I didn't like. She was snobbish and had worked to convince my high school boyfriend to date her instead. On this Saturday, I had washed my hair and had planned to spend a quiet day studying. But my roommate came in to announce that Winona had stood up her date. She asked if I wanted to go along with the three of them.
“My reply was that he must be a nice guy if Winona didn't like him, so I agreed to go. It took an hour to dry and fix my hair in 1961, but they waited for me. We all had a great afternoon, and the rest is history.
“By the way, Karl and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on Dec. 20.”
— Carolyn Spence
“In 1941, I went to work as a fireman on the Santa Fe Railroad. Since I was the man with the least seniority, I was sent to Roswell.
“My co-workers allowed me to tag along to the Busy Bee Cafe, where I was told was the best place in town to eat. I went in, sat down and the next moment I was looking up at the most beautiful gal I had ever seen, standing there to take my order.
“After we ate and were returning to our job, I remarked how beautiful I thought that particular waitress was. I was told to forget about her as she did not date railroaders.
“Evidently that served as a challenge to me. Within a couple of weeks, we were enjoying the movies together.
“In the meantime, World War II had started and I was facing military service. After a romance of six months, we felt that we wanted to get married and on April 11,1942, we were married. “The honeymoon lasted only three months. I was drafted on July 1, 1942.
“I was fortunate to stay in the states until December 1943. In February 1944 our first child was born shortly after I arrived in England. He was 21 months old before I got to see him. Out of this union we had three children, 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
They all think Mema, that beautiful waitress I met in Roswell 63 years ago, is the greatest.”
— Mac McDonald
“Joe and I met in Tucumcari when we were in junior high. There was one house between us growing up. He was worse than my brothers at telling me who I could date.
“We fought through the years like brothers and sisters. We played football with the other neighborhood kids on a dirt street. We rode his motorcycle together. And when he was in his house, I would take off on it by myself.
“Over the years our friendship grew stronger. We were married Feb. 14, 1970. We have two wonderful daughters and two of the greatest grandsons.
“My oldest daughter always asked how does a couple stay married so long. Our opinion to her and others is ‘Marriage is a two-way street and it is certainly not a bed of roses.’ It takes a lot of understanding and love.”
— Mearl Thomas
“I met my husband the summer after I graduated from high school. We were both working at Philmont Scout Ranch (a high-adventure hiking base in the Sangre de Cristos near Cimarron). He had a rip in his uniform shorts, and I was the only person who could fix them for him.
“It took us most of the summer to get over the fact that I was a Californian and he was a Texan!
“I guess opposites really do attract, and stick. That was 25 years ago and he's still my Texan, even if we had to move to the neutral territory of New Mexico.”
— Carol Singletary