Monday, July 4, 2011

Welcome Sue Fineman and Happy Fourth!

I fell in love with a pretty blue convertible.

The fireworks show had ended, but traffic over the bridge toward home had come to a full stop. So my friend and I turned in the other direction, toward the beach.

I saw the pretty blue convertible parked at the drive-in restaurant. Two men sat in the car, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. At that point, I wasn’t interested in men. My last boyfriend had been arrested for selling something that didn’t belong to him, and I refused to have anything to do with him again. I wouldn’t even take his phone calls.

I worked as a secretary at Patrick Air Force Base, and there were plenty of Air Force guys around, but they didn’t make much money in those days, so the guys were usually broke. Some of the men who worked in the same office building hit on me, but most of them were married, and I absolutely refused to date a married man. An old boyfriend proposed and I turned him down. He was a sweet guy, but I didn’t love him, and his family made me uncomfortable. The engineers who worked downrange were so love-starved, it was like dating an octopus, and I wasn’t that kind of girl. I was so discouraged, I’d just about given up on men altogether that Fourth of July when I saw the pretty blue convertible.

These guys in the blue convertible were looking pretty good, so I pulled in beside them and my friend and I ordered something to drink. My friend complained about the song blaring from the jukebox, and one of the guys in the blue convertible walked up and selected another song. Baby Elephant Walk. It was quite popular that year.

The two guys in the blue car struck up a conversation. They slid into the backseat of my Corvair and we talked for over an hour. They said they were in the Navy, stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, and they served on the Polaris submarines.

The guy who drove the car invited me to go to the movies with him the next evening, and I accepted. He seemed really nice, and I figured anyone who owned a car like had to have something going for him. He was good looking and had the sexiest brown eyes.

Two weeks later he sold the car, but by then I was already smitten. We only dated three and a half weeks when he proposed. I said yes, then had second thoughts. He was Jewish and except for one boy in my high school class and some merchants in Miami Beach, I’d never known anyone who was Jewish.

I went to the library and tried to find books on the Jewish religion and traditions, but this was Central Florida. In the early 60’s. The schools were still segregated. I couldn’t find any books to tell me what I’d be getting myself into if I married a Jewish guy. No surprise there. If you weren’t a white Christian, you didn’t fit in.

I didn’t know if his family would accept me. Would they expect me to raise our children Jewish? I had no idea. He said it didn’t matter, he loved me and wanted to marry me, and I could raise our kids however I wanted. So we set the date.

We only knew each other six months when we married in January, 1963.

If I hadn’t pulled into the drive-in, we wouldn’t have met. And if he hadn’t been driving that pretty blue convertible, I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention. Now, instead of driving a pretty blue convertible, he drives me crazy. But after 48 years, we’re still married. I don’t know what I’d do without him.

That’s my Fourth of July story. What’s yours?

Sue Fineman lives in Central Washington State with her husband of 48 years. They have three grown children, one adorable grandson, two cute little doggies, and multiple grandkittens and grandpuppies.

Sue has written over two dozen books. The Gregory Series: ON THE RUN, ON THE LAM, and ON THE EDGE, are available exclusively at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. THE MITCHELL MONEY is available through The Wild Rose Press, DigiBooks Cafe, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Win a free Kindle at DigiBooks Café. You can find the link and a clue to the puzzle for the contest on my blog at
Thanks, Sue, great post!
Next week my guest is Sharon Noble


Mona Risk said...

Oh what a lovely story, with an ongoing HEA since you still driving each other crazy after forty-eight years. Isn't that true love. Wishing you many more years together, Sue.


Sandra Koehler said...

Hi Mona, thanks for visiting. Sue is definitely a very lucky lady!

booklover0226 said...

I don't have a story but I certainly enjoyed yours. Thanks for sharing.

Tracey D

Vonnie Davis said...

Now WHY haven't you used this in one of your stories??? It's delightful. I fell in love with Calvin between the covers of his first book. I thought if a man could write something that sensative and engaging, he had to be something quite special--and he is. Great post!!!

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Thanks, Mona. I finished your book at one-thirty this morning. I couldn't stop reading.

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Vonnie, someday I hope to meet your husband. Calvin sounds like a winner.

Sometimes I wonder if we'd choose the same mates if we'd met at a different time in our lives. Would the person you fall in love with at twenty be the same person you'd fall in love with at forty or fifty?

Karen Cote said...

Gave me goosebumps. What a wonderful love story. Unlike the ones you write, this one is on course to last throughout eternity.

Congrats Sue and thanks for the insights to something so precious.

Aileen said...

How sweet! I fell for a few guys based on their wheels but none of them turned out as fine as their cars. I'm glad yours worked out!

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Thanks, Karen and Aileen. I confess to making a mistake in the blog. I met him 49 years ago. We've been married 48 years. That's what happens when I run out of fingers and toes to count on. LOL

Patricia said...

I met my husband at a wedding that my younger-by-ten-years sister was going to and she said if I had nothing better to do I should come along. I did and met my ten-years-my-junior husband - my sister's peer. We talked for awhile and I told myself that was the guy I was going to marry. Five years later, we did! Did it happen on Fourth of July? No, but I like the story anyway.

TessStJohn said...

I certainly can't top that, Sue!!! Congrats on the 48 years!

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Thanks, Tess. Patricia, my daughter is twelve years older than her husband. My mother was older than my father, my husband's mother was older than his father, and my grandmother was older than my grandfather. Once you're past the age of consent, does age really matter? Well... maybe if someone brings it up in an argument. Grandpa used to call Grandma "the old lady" just to make her mad.

Ramona Butler said...

Wonderful love story. 48 years. You're on track for the gold, now go for the diamond.

Robin Haseltine said...

What a lovely story, Sue. I so enjoyed it, and learning more about you. Great wedding picture and beautiful couple :) I don't have any 4th of July stories to think of, but whenever I get to the 4th now, I'll think of you.

L. j. Charles said...

What a great story, Sue. I lived in Washington state for the first half of my life--on the western side. I was always jealous of your sunny days

Cara Marsi said...


What a terrific love story. And to think there are those who think you can't fall in love quickly. But you can. When you meet that special person you know it. Congratulations on all your years together.

BTW-my husband drove a 1969 blue Shelby Mustang when I met him. Cool car. Cool guy too.

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

We lived in Gig Harbor for twenty-some years before my husband retired and we moved to Moses Lake.

Some people build a friendship before they fall in love. It didn't happen that way with us. We had some major adjusting to do once we married, and we had three kids by the time we were married three years, but we worked through most of our problems, as most couples do.

Marianne Stephens said...

I don't have any story as exciting as yours! Sounds like you made the right choice...and will always like blue convertibles!

Jacquie Rogers said...

Wow, 48 years! Think it'll work out? LOL Congrats to you and your guy.

BTW, your book cover is really fun. I love it!

Erin said...

Oh wow. Sue no wonder your wonderful stories have that valid ring of truth in them. Hope you guys manage another 48 years of good times. (Thank you Alison) ----- Erin

susan said...

A great story Sue and may I say Congrats to you and yours. My hubby and I just celebrated 48 years too..June 29th was our big day. I can not say I have a really big event to ever take place on the 4th but I do enjoy fireworks and love to see them every year. susan Leech

Sandra Koehler said...

Thanks Sue for such a wonderful story! Sandy/Alison

morgan wyatt said...

Hi Sue,
I remember the fourth my attention to safety caught my daughter on fire. I insisted she wear cotton work gloves on her small hands so the sparkler's sparks wouldn't hurt her. Who knew those gloves burned so well? No one was hurt, though.:)

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

Ouch! Poor little girl must have been scared to death. I'm so glad she wasn't hurt.

Thank you Alison for giving me a chance to share my love story.

Mary Ricksen said...

How utterly romantic a story!
No fourth of July stories for me. But I did meet my DH in a taxi. He was bleary eyed in the early morning as he drove that taxi on days he wasn't going to college. I worked in a medical office and started at 6am.
I asked him a question and he looked in his rearview mirror at me. I could see his eyes get big. I looked pretty good then. We started to talk and he asked me out for a movie that nite. I'll never forget my grandfather looking at his footsteps in the snow and muttering about the size of feet and what that meant. I still laugh, he was a pistol. We've been married 35 yrs now!