I returned from my LDS Mission to The Netherlands in December, 1965 and continued my studies at Utah State University. Having really struggled with the freshman year of college before my mission, I was coming back near the level of probation. My mode of transportation was a bicycle and this posed somewhat of a problem for dating since not many girls would be willing to ride as a passenger on a bicycle on a date. However, there were a few dates that I had where this was the mode of transportation.
About the winter term, 1966, I registered for an English writing class at USU. One of the other students in the class was a young lady who was, as I recall, majoring in English and planned to teach English on a secondary level. Besides taking the class, this was definitely a reason for me to attend class regularly. Before long, Bonnie and I were seeing each other quite regularly outside of class.
As was the custom for returned missionaries, the opportunity was given to visit sacrament meetings and related experiences from the mission in a gospel centered talk. Since Bonnie also was very musical, whenever I was asked to speak, she accompanied me and performed a musical number. I remember one time, in particular, that we were assigned to do this at Beaver Dam Ward located between where I grew up on the farm in East Garland and where I was attending school in Logan. She played the accordian (and other instruments and also sang) and may have also played the violin.
Bonnie Smith had grown up in Preston, Idaho some twenty miles north of Logan, Utah where we were going to school. Most of our dates used the mode of transportation "Line Two" (as the Dutch would say--using both legs and walking!) She lived on the west side of campus and I was living near that same place on Darwin Avenue just west of the LDS Institute of Religion so it was easy to attend activities by walking there.
One of my former missionary companions, Ronald Brown, lived in Logan and his father owned a local business there. Ron had recently returned from his mission, and his father was very accomodating. He allowed me to use his new Pontiac Grand Prix to take Bonnie on dates that required more than walking, and also encouraged me to use his Grand Prix to take her home to Preston on weekends. In fact, there were some weekends that I attended church with her and her parents. Her father owned LeVoy's (a women's clothing store) and her mother was a teacher but also the choir director at church. So whenever I attended with them, I also sang in the church choir.
One early morning, after coming back to school and leaving Bonnie at home, I was driving back to Logan. It was about 2:30 a.m. when I drove through the small town of Smithfield, located just north of Logan. You can imagine that being used to walking as the main mode of transportation, it was easy (especially as sleepy as I was) to not watch the speed limit. On the south side of town I was pulled over for speeding, going something like 65 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone! That ticket cost me lots of money! This was such a hardshp to come up with the fine that I seem to remember that more than specifics on dates we had together.
Ticket for speeding 65/40 - Smithfield, Utah (1966)
In addition to being together when I was on a speaking assignment, we enjoyed dancing (especially the polka) at Saturday Night LDS Institute dances, and other activities such as concerts and movies at the Student Union Building. I also especially enjoyed taking her to church on Sundays. We spent a lot of time together during my Sophomore year.
Shortly after I started asking Bonnie to go to church with me, I became aware that she was also spending about the same amount of time with another young man by the name of Dick (don't remember the last name) whose roommate was named Nick. I sometimes had occasion to see Nick. Dick was a Catholic boy from New York who was a senior majoring in WildLife Management. When he saw that I was spending more time with Bonnie than he was on the weekends, he also started asking her to attend church at her ward. So I guess she was attending double meetings.
Bonnie Smith - Picture Given to Me On Valentine's Day, 1966
About April of 1966, Dick was getting ready to graduate and begin his career. He landed a job with the Idaho Fish and Game Department which would take him to Boise, Idaho after his graduation that spring. In the meantime, as he attended church with Bonnie, he converted to Mormonism and joined the LDS Church. Dick proposed marriage to Bonnie and she accepted. This broke my heart! Nick told me that he knew that either Dick or I would win Bonnie--he just didn't know which one. I still had over a year of school at Utah State prior to graduation, and at this time was still thinking of pre-med. I had not consciously been thinking of marriage, although it had crossed my mind.
So Dick won Bonnie, and I was left with feelings expresed by the late Jim Reeves in his song "Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)".
'I know that someday, you'll want me to want you, When I'm in love with somebody else. You'd expect me to be true, and keep on loving you. Though I am blue, you think I can't forget you.
'Until someday you'll want me to want you. When I'm strong for somebody new. Though you don't want me now, I'll get along somehow. And then I won't want you.
'I know that someday you'll want me to want you, When I'm strong for somebody new. Though you don't want me now, I'll get along somehow. And then I won't want you.'
Boy, do I know that heart-sick feeling. There's a Ray Charles song that says it for me: I still sing it (to myself) occasionally: It begins with "You give your hand to me, and then you say "Hello." And I can hardly speak, my heart is beating so.And anyone can tell, you think you know me well. Well you don't know me." If interested "google" the first few words for the complete lyrics. Thanks for sharing an intimate part of your personal history.
Very interesting spot of life in that world. Nick and Dick. I can think of some fun with that pair. I know the Jim Reeves song well and actually sang it in my band if you can imagine. And Don, I sang You Don't Know Me as a solo for years. Both great songs I loved to sing but never actually related like the two of you did. This is an important part of your personal history Golden. Well done. And, you eventually did better than Bonnie.
What an experience to go through. I think we all go through it to some degree or another. Always painful no matter how you slice it. Thanks for sharing.