THE DENTED DIME
One balmy summer evening in 1948 when I was six years old, I attended a rural Ontario house party with my family at the home of a neighbour. It was at this house party that I first laid eyes on ten year old Ron Porter. He was the nicest looking boy I had ever seen, wearing a white shirt and dark dress pants. He was partnered with an older girl in a square dance. I was positively green with envy. Oh, how I wished I were his partner for this dance. As I watched him go through all the complicated maneuvers with polished expertise, I was well aware that I was much too little to attract the attention of this handsome, much older boy. Try as I might for the rest of that evening, he never once noticed me.
At the tender age of six, I had already developed some characteristics that remain with me to this day. I have a romantic nature that ebbs and flows in waves like the sea. Another is a single mindedness that harkens back to my Scottish grandmother. Both traits must have engulfed me as I watched that square dance because I remember the intense feelings clearly. I recall my rock solid decision that Ron Porter was the guy I was going to marry when I grew up.
Years passed and my romantic side blossomed. I had crushes on other boys and as a young teen began dating, experiencing the usual highs and lows of such relationships. Between the ages of six and fifteen I didn’t have any real contact with Ron but was happy to occasionally hear of him. Sometimes I daydreamed about being married to him. These daydreams included imaginary furniture in imaginary rooms.
Ron left home to work on construction when he was fifteen, only returning to home for the winter months. During one such winter I was finally able to get his attention. I flirted shamelessly and made every effort to let him know just how interested I was in him. It worked. He got the message. Unfortunately, I didn’t get quite the results I expected.
Ron was part of a group having a Coke at the New London Café in one winter afternoon. After some time of flirtation and laughter he showed me a dented dime that he’d shot with his twenty-two during target practice that day. I was dully impressed with his marksmanship but his next remarks changed the jolly tone of the gathering. My Prince Charming took the wind out of my sails when he presented me with the dented dime and said, “Give me a call when you grow up.” I took the dime.
Time passed and we went our separate ways for a while. When I returned to school after working for the summer the year I was sixteen, I felt extremely grown up. So, when Ron returned home that autumn I marched down to the pay phone on the main street, used my own dime and placed a call to him. I told him that I was now “grown up.”
We were married two years later.
About twelve years after our marriage I ran across that dented dime in my jewellery box. I had it attached to a silver chain and I gave it back to Ron as an anniversary gift. Having a romantic nature similar to mine he wears it around his neck - always.
Ron and I will celebrate our fifty-sixth anniversary this year.