The Perfect Couple – Mike and Tammy Dooley:
By Tammy Dooley
In 1985 I worked as a hotel sales director. I was scheduled to make sales calls all day with a sales director from the convention center in Temple. When I came to work, the clerk told me, “A Mr. Mike Dooley is here for you.” Long story short, he was filling in for his sales person. We worked together all day and became fast friends.
A sixteen year age difference between us made Mike hesitant to pursue a relationship. He argued that I was too young, too tall, etc. But I knew better.
We fell madly in love. I was attracted to his intelligence and his life experiences. Plus he’s just so handsome. We shared a common interest in our business world. On New Year’s Eve, 1988 we married and in true fashion of our business, we married at work at the Bell County Expo Center. Then we went straight to work at a Clint Black concert that night. We tell everyone, “Clint Black played at our reception.”
In 1993 we came to Somervell County and started Dooley Management Company. We manage public event facilities in Texas, including the Somervell Expo Center and Texas Amphitheater.
About 12 years ago, we had a serious health crisis that really changed the way we viewed life. While we have always been appreciative of every day together, we realized everyday might not always be here. We never miss the opportunity to say we love each other. We tell our son and daughter and three beautiful grandbabies that we love them too.
I told Mike that we needed “a song–our song.” He really didn’t seem interested. Then, one morning, I got into my car and there was a tape (that’s how long ago it was) with a note that said, “our song.” It was Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” This past New Year’s Eve, we celebrated 23 years of marriage and Mike had the band play “Wonderful Tonight.” What woman wouldn’t love a man like that?
The Perfect Couple
By Mike Dooley.
I fell for Tammy, not so much because she was beautiful, which she is, but because she was so happy. You know, happiness is something we sometimes take for granted. It all started kinda like a fairy tale. “Once upon a time” we had a costume party to attend and Tammy got the costumes. When I got home she was already trying on her Snow White costume. She was beautiful. And when I took my costume from the box, I was perplexed. She said we would be a perfect couple, but my costume did not look like Prince Charming. When I asked, she said, “Prince Charming? Oh no, I got us Snow White and Dopey.” Oh well, our life together has really been a fairy tale, and I am the luckiest man I know.
Teenage Love – Terry and Suzy Gray
By Suzy Gray
Terry and I have known each other from childhood. His sister was my best friend. Terry was just a big brother who sometimes let us see his model cars and airplanes. However when I entered high school, something happened. Terry and I began to look at each other in a new light. He was tall, dark haired and handsome. He played basketball and baseball. I suddenly became a sports fan.
We began to date and then just when I discovered that no one else compared to Terry, he went off to UT in Austin, leaving me behind to finish growing up. We wrote each other every week. He came home when he could and took me to the school dances. By the time I was a senior we were declaring our love for each other and planned to marry when I graduated from high school. Oh, my! We were young!
Since I knew how to bake a pie, roast a roast, make a dress and clean house, I assumed I was ready to become a wife. Terry was serious and responsible for a 20 year old and I had no doubt that he loved me as much as I loved him. We had a beautiful wedding with all of our friends and relatives cheering us on as we began our life together. In the fall of 59 we registered at UT and rented an apartment across from the campus with an upstairs screened in sleeping porch for the bedroom. Unfortunately that winter was bitter and at night our only protection from the cold was canvas curtains decorated with ice cycles. Funny, at the time, it just seemed like another adventure.
As the adventure of our life continued, we had three sons and a daughter who have given us thirteen beautiful grandchildren. Every morning Terry and I begin our day together. One of us stirs and we both get up to enjoy having coffee together. Now, in our retirement life, we are still on the back porch. However, now we watch the Pecan Plantation wildlife cross the river. Watching sunrises and sunsets together may be the secret to our happy marriage.
Speaking the Same Language – Ivan and Imgard Nelson
By Ivan Nelson, Air Force Master Sergeant
In 1947 a buddy and I stood in Frankfurt, Germany staring at a bulletin board with postings in German. Neither of us could even speak German. I asked two young ladies nearby if they could help us. One of the ladies spoke a little English. As it turned out, we weren’t interest in the posting, but I was interested in the young lady. We planned to meet a few days later. That day we walked and tried to talk and then she took me to her home.
We went on a street car for a ways and then walked to her apartment. We were welcomed by her Mom and siblings, ten of them. Their father had died. I fell in love with her right away. She asked me to come see her again and again. We got engaged and I filled out a great deal of paperwork to get the marriage approved, but a problem arose. Imgard was only18. I had to get her mother’s permission and signature. We set the date for November, so she could get the dress material from the states ordered. Her family and friends filled the beautiful church, but they cried and cried because we would be leaving soon.
In December we were supposed to fly to La Guardia but a storm forced us to Boston. We finally got to New York. Then I dropped her off at a hotel and told her to eat in the café downstairs. I rushed to get our car but the snow caused more trouble. Late that evening when I got back, I realized my bride hadn’t eaten all day. She was too bashful about not speaking English.
We drove to Illinois to meet my parents. They still had family in Norway. Norway had been invaded by Germany a few years before, during the war. They had to overcome their feelings about suddenly having a German daughter-in-law. With Imgard’s sweetness, it didn’t take long.
We have two sons, Ronald and Eric, five grandchildren and one great. We live in this wonderful place in Granbury. Imgard lives in a secure area, because she is forgetful now. I live up stairs where I can see her everyday and have each meal with her. Our marriage has lasted 63 years because we learned to compromise when we had a difference of opinion. Even our communication was a compromise.
Today’s the Day – Doug and Connie Knippa
By Doug Knippa
In 19— a buddy and I headed to the Fort Worth Fire Hockey game. It was a beautiful day and I felt great. I don’t remember why I said it. The conversation began with hockey and sports stuff. Suddenly I said, “This is the day I’m going to meet the woman I’m going to marry!” I’m sure my friend looked at me weird, but nothing else was said.
We sat down in our seats near this beautiful girl. I started talking to her right off–asking her if she’d go out; really flirting with her. She kept putting me off and talking about her family. I made a few mistakes like, spilling a beer on a guy near us.
“Well, you have to ask my folks if I can go out with you,” she said.
“Ok,” I said.
“Go ahead, ask them. They’re all right here,” she motioned toward the people all around. Her uncle was the one I spilt the beer on.
Her name was Connie. After a great deal of pleading she said I could come to her parent’s house later in the week. But I had a date that night and even though I no longer wanted to go, I didn’t feel I should break it. I declined Connie’s invitation. I asked for another date and then later I asked her to marry me.
You can drop in to Doug’s Sports House and (right next-door) Connie’s on the East side of the Granbury Historic Square and get Connie’s side of the story.