Thursday, March 8, 2012

Introducing My Friend Joyce...

My sister, Kathy (on the right in this photo) and I with Joyce in the middle.
I want you to meet a very special friend of mine.  Her name is Joyce and I met her in June of 1964.  I was 19 and I think she was 37.  We met the summer my sister, Kathy, and I traveled to Estes Park, CO for summer jobs to help with college expenses.  There are so many stories about that summer.  Perhaps those will come in time.  

Today I want to introduce you to Joyce.  She had an amazing impact on me during that summer and she is still one of the women God uses in my life to model his character and encourage me to be the person he wants me to be. 

I met Joyce and her husband, George, at a little Baptist church a few days after my sister and I arrived in Estes Park by Greyhound bus.  The date of our arrival was Tuesday, June 16, 1964.  

(Some dates are permanently chiseled in my memory bank.) 

Neither my sister nor I had secured jobs before our arrival.  I had just finished my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and my sister had just graduated from high school.  We were 1,200 miles from home - a dairy farm high on a bluff above the Mississippi River in west-central WI.  

My childhood home on a bluff above the Mississippi River near Fountain City, WI.
During my college year, I had been involved in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and there met a gal who had spent the previous summer working as a waitress in Estes Park.  She had worked for about two months and had saved $600.00.  In 1964, that was a lot of money.  It was nearly enough to cover the cost of a year of college which for me was about $800.00.

Since I needed to pay most of my way for college, I thought I needed to get myself to Estes Park where there would certainly be an opportunity for me to make and save money also.  And my younger sister was ready for adventure so decided to join me.

It was just before noon when our bus pulled into town.  We left our heavy suitcases with nearly all of our earthly possessions at the bus station, asked directions to the employment office in town and headed off on foot.

When we arrived there, we were applicants numbers 95 and 96 to apply for jobs.... that day!!!  

And we were told there were no jobs for any of us!!!

We'll pick up the story next time.

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