I can be more specific. April 16, 1967, after many welcomed proposals and as many half-hearted refusals, Larry gave me a beautiful engagement ring. Of course, we knew it was coming but that was the official day.
Larry did it right, he even asked my dad before he gave me the ring. When he asked dad for my hand dad replied he’d need to take the rest of me too not just my hand.
We went to the Branding Iron Restaurant in Merced for dinner that evening. I remember feeling like the ring on my hand just had to be so noticeable no one could possibly look in my direction and not see it.
Dinner was great. We had steak, baked potatoes, and the Branding Iron’s famous creamed spinach. The room was full of patrons and servers. No one noticed my ring. I was shocked! I think I finally told our waitress about it so somebody would make a fuss.
When I got home mom and dad called me into their room. They asked me to turn on the light and show them my ring. Finally! They were both very happy and excited for me.
The Viet Nam War (I don’t care what they call it!) was raging. Larry and I were both losing friends. We didn’t want to wait too long in case Larry might be called to serve before we had a chance to marry. We decided we’d marry in June of 1968. Larry would have his degree from Junior College and be enrolled in Stanislaus State by then and I’d have a start at Junior College.