Somewhere about 1956 or so, Barbara and I were in our courtship days. It was thrilling to hold hands. I was having fun just as long as she was with me. She is still bubbly, but even more so in those days. I have nothing but fond memories of that time in our lives. One episode of our courtship is perhaps known by no one until now, as I will disclose some of our secrets.
My schooling was uncertain because I decided I did not want to graduate from BIOLA. I had been given the impression that it would be required of me to spend at least one year in residence, and I did not want to do that. Expenses were manageable as long as I lived at home, commuting to and from school. So the year before I settled in at Los Angeles Baptist College, I bummed around. I took a couple of courses at Covenant College. Yes, that same Covenant College that presently sits atop Lookout Mountain. It was located temporarily in Pasadena in those days. I also took a class in German at Los Angeles City College. Barbara wanted to learn a little German too, so she signed up for class with me. I'm not sure how much German we learned, but we did have fun driving to school together twice a week for that semester.
One night after class, as we walked from the building some young men were handing out literature at the curb, and we were curious enough to take a leaflet. I was hoping to find it was a Christian witness and I had just been handed a tract. But, to my disappointment, it turned out to be a Communist Party propaganda piece. The next night of school these guys were out there again, only this time I came prepared. I handed him a piece of literature titled, "Have You Considered Him?" It was a well written and persuasive Christian booklet. But the next time, when I tried to hand off another piece for our side, the young man refused to take it. Oh well, I tried.
As our conversation covered many things during our drive to school, one night we had discussed how sheltered Barbara's rearing had been in the home of a reconstructed Methodist. In spite of the fact that he was now an Orthodox Presbyterian minister, the small town of Bridgewater, SD, required several fundamentalist safeguards (e.g. the pulling of the shades when engaged in a game of ROOK for fear the neighbors might think they were playing cards at the minister's house!). For some stupid reason, we talked about the fact that Barbara had never smoked a cigarette. So the next night I smuggled a cigarette from my mother's purse (she later quite smoking). On the way home from class we pulled to the side of the road, not to do some necking, but smoking. I lighted up a weed and handed it to Barbara, and she took one abbreviated drag before she convulsed in hacking and coughing. I knew she would be cured of her curiosity with just one. That was it. Since then neither of us has had the least temptation to use tobacco in any form.