Updated: Oct 9, 2022
PS, I just discovered through photos that, at our wedding, Hillary carried a bouquet of red lilies with white stripes, different than the lead photo shows, but deal with it.
I remember the time I was working in Duncan, Oklahoma and she had moved out to Los Angeles to work for Nichiman Graphics who did 3-D modeling for the department of defense and was run by a Japanese man who was very nice to Hillary, maybe too nice. But she liked it there. She was part of the up-and-coming tech scene and in Los Angeles, and she felt very proud of herself. And she should be, because she was so smart and talented.
Anyway I was in Duncan and talking to her on the phone one night, one those endless chats when you’re giddy about each other, and suddenly I heard a bang in the background and she said I think that was a gunshot. And she told me she ducked down. And it was then more or less that I decided to come out and be with her, ostensibly to protect her, but really because I was in love with her.
She left for Los Angeles the day after Valentine’s Day. Her mother and her drove out there in their little blue Tercel packed to the gills with stuff plus a cat. Anyway that valentines I had given her a fossil watch (which I fished out of her belongings after she died and now have) which was kind of expensive for me at the time, and she in turn had sent some sort of balloon bouquet with a mug to the front desk at Halliburton for me to pick up, and lots of guys were looking and I think they were commenting but it was not snippy comments but some sort man-kidding and I felt proud. I don’t know what became of the mug. I think there was candy in it and I ate that.
That Valentine’s Day itself we ate at some little Italian restaurant in Marlowe which is supposed to be pretty good, and I think people go out of their way to go there, but I don’t remember anything about the dinner except there were other young couples there eating their spaghetti or whatever and making eyes at each other.
And so I flew out to Los Angeles to see her and we enjoyed each other‘s company, and back then when it was time for me to fly home, you could still escort a passenger to the gate and see them off, and I remember her hiding behind a pillar and peeking out at me when I thought she had already left and I was right up ready getting ready to go through the tunnel and board the plane, and she popped out and waved goodbye to me, and it was so sweet and she was so cute and it made me very happy, and I determined then that the next time I came out I was going to stay.