God had a plan the entire time

Published 4:23 pm Monday, May 17, 2010

In May 1962, after nine months at East Central Junior College in Decatur, Miss., my suitemate, Elaine Cotton, was going to spend the weekend with me, so I let her sit up front with Billy Smith who was driving his car.

For a change, I sat in the back with Weasel Phillips, Bobby Thames and an extra suitcase. We were sardines! Usually I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Bobby. He was too quiet for me, but squeezed together in the back, we actually got the conversation started on religion.

I’ll not disclose some of the crazy ideas we both had nearly 46 years ago. Elder Bob would be embarrassed.

By the time we got to Mobile County, I had decided this guy might be OK after all. He was tall and lanky with the most gorgeous blue-gray eyes. He did not call me all weekend, but on the return trip Sunday afternoon we again had a good bit to say to each other. At the dorm, I quickly signed in (yes, it was required) then signed back out. Destination – Ms. Pearl’s café … a teenage hangout with the best lemon pie ever.

After the pie, Billy began to drive toward Newton, Miss. Little Miss Goody Two Shoes (that was me) didn’t want to break a rule, and I knew we only listed Ms. Pearls on our sign out card. Imagine my shock when we turned into a nearby roadside park. It was like being at the drive-in movie. Most of the kids were sitting on the hoods of their cars yelling and chatting to everyone who drove through.

Two weeks later, Bobby Thames received his associate’s degree from East Central, but I didn’t stay for commencement. Later that night he called and asked why I left campus before graduation. Well, he had been a snob and had not asked me for a real date.

It was the next night on our first real date that I discovered the problem. A friend of Bob’s had told him that I was engaged to a guy at Huntingdon College.

That’s another story.

What happened to Bobby? Oh yeah — I married him two years later after he graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi.

There’s been thick and thin, joys, problems, moves (nine of them), weddings, funerals, job changes, four kids, four college educations and five grandchildren.

It’s called life.

I am thankful one of those moves and job changes brought us to Alabaster — home for 30 years now.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.