27 June 2015

Fifty years and two days ago a young man left home. It was the first time that he had traveled alone and the first time that he had ventured east of California. He was on his way to a thirteen month stay in Denmark. On that same day a young woman also left home alone for the first time. For the first time she ventured outside of Wisconsin. She was traveling to begin a summer stay with a family in Greece. A day later they, along with about 600 other students,  set sail on the MS Seven Seas from New York, bound for Rotterdam.

Fifty years ago today, 380 nautical miles northeast of New York harbor, in the western extremes of the Atlantic Ocean, these two young people happened to meet and strike up a conversation after the evening meal. The voyage across the Atlantic was a slow one. Most of each day was spend in language classes or orientation sessions. Evenings tended to be free time. Not by shear coincidence, the paths of these two young people continued to cross each evening. A bit more than a week later the Seven Seas docked in Holland. These two people set off for their separate and final destinations, not knowing whether they would ever meet again.

In 1965 communication was different and more difficult than it is today. There was no email, or cell phones. Phone calls across the Atlantic had to be scheduled more than a week in advance. These two young people were totally dependent upon the handwritten letter. Despite the uncertainty of the times and the sporadic nature of their correspondence, they did eventually meet again a year and a half later. It took another year and a half to meet again. Five years, to the day, after having first spoken with each other, they were married.

So it is that today marks the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the partnership, which now is embodied in Whitefish Bay Farm. Thank you Nice Lady for sticking with the Grumpy Old Shepherd all these years. All my love….