I don’t remember the exact date for this story, but I know it happened before we were “together”. Our official “together” date was May 27/28, 1989, so this happened maybe a week before that.
As the Camp Counselors/Coordinators, Steve and I had the fun nighttime job of Cabin Checks. After lights out at about 9:00 pm, we would walk through the camps to make sure everyone was tucked away in bed, with no hijinks to be had. If cabin lights were on, we’d poke out heads in and click off the lights. If we heard talking from within, we’d shine our lights through the windows and gruffly shout, “lights out!” Then we’d slowly walk back to our rooms, as slowly as possible; chatting and sharing the whole way. Once we’d get back to our cabin, he’d be off to his room, and I’d be off to mine; next door to each other. He had the early shift at the weather station at 6:00 am, so he was early to bed. I didn’t have to get started until 10:00 am, so I was late to bed, late to rise. Ever practical, he was always off to bed, never staying up later than necessary. He always gave 100% to every job.
We started our cabin checks in the girl’s camp, which was down the hill, and then finished with a walk through of the boy’s camp, which was up the hill. But on this night, after the final cabin was checked, Steve asked if I wanted to go for a walk to 5-points—I think that is what it was called. Up beyond the boy’s camp was a dirt road. It wound around the backside of the camp, up toward another camping area that was used during the summer, and then it headed off to the north to the Shadow of the Giants National Recreational Trail. Off to the south was a spot on the road that overlooked the valley. On a clear day, or night, you supposedly could see 5 different cities, or maybe it was just 3 points. Bear with me, this memory is very old.
Of course, I agreed to walk in the dark with him! I was crushing hard at this point. I thought, a walk in the dark? Maybe this means he likes me? Maybe he’ll make a move? I didn’t know what was going to happen, but for him to stay up late, that meant something. So down the road we walked.
Now if you asked anyone else, you might hear that we were holding hands, but that wasn’t exactly true. Maybe he grabbed my hand to help me over a rock, or up over the lip of the road, but I know that we hadn’t held hands yet. Although the story from Al Opdyke, the only other person there, seemed to have us holding hands, I don’t remember that.
As we were walking we noticed a car coming down the road very slowly. This road is up in the woods. It doesn’t really lead anywhere. So, a car on the road late at night was odd. When the car caught up to us a friendly voice said, “Is that you Steve?” He may have even said, “Stosh”, but I can’t remember. Steve replied, “Al! What are you doing up here?” Al told us that he was camping up the road on a personal retreat, and that he was just coming down into camp to use the shower. Steve then said, “Well, I’d like you to meet Nancy Firestine. She works up here too. We’re just taking a night hike to see the lights. Nancy, I’d like you to meet Al Opdyke, our pastor.”
What the heck? The first person he introduces me to is his pastor? He was so pleased. After we exchanged a couple more pleasantries we were off to 5-points. As we walked he started to chuckle. “Well, I guess I’ll have to introduce you to my parents now. They are best friends with the Opdykes. They will know of you before the weekend is over.”
Al was the pastor who married us.