I met Cathey when I was at home in Nashville on leave from the Army in December 1970 on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. We spent two weeks getting to know one another, and when I returned to my post in Italy, we stayed in touch through letters and phone calls. As I was assigned to a worldwide digital and telecommunications center, I was able to call Cathey through military switchboards in the U.S. who would patch us through.
After meeting, it was soon decided that Cathey would come to Italy to visit me that summer in 1971. She was a single woman living on her own and working when we met. So in order to buy airline tickets to Italy, she worked a second job and saved the necessary funds for the trip.
When she arrived, I met her at the airport in Rome, and we stayed in a small pensione in Rome for a week visiting all the sights including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican and more. Then we jumped in my Triumph TR4 and headed north up the Mediterranean Sea to Tirrenia on the Ligurian Sea near my Army base. From there we explored the surrounding areas of Pisa, Firenze, and Viareggio. Here we ate fresh seafood in the outdoor cafes near the beaches on warm evenings, drank cappuccinos at the cafe across from the Leaning Tower, which we climbed, and saw the great museums and art in Firenzi. One evening a bunch of us went to the Trocadero Nightclub in Viareggio for a night of listening to King Crimson’s music accompanied by a psychedelic light show. A wild time!
Cathey stayed for several weeks before she had to return home and her work. We drove back to the airport in Rome, and I held her long and we kissed, and then she was gone. When I returned home following my Army discharge later that year in September, we reunited and we married two months later in November 1971. This year, 2021, we will celebrate our 50 year anniversary! Cathey is an amazing woman and wife who captivated me from the day we met and forever more.