Thursday, December 31, 2009
Donna and Dan - 21
More of the continuing saga of the love history of Dan and Donna, being just hours away from entering the year of our 25th anniversary. I began writing a once-a-week story or poem to or for Donna about four weeks ago and will continue the countdown to our June 1st anniversary...
I returned home from Murray in shame (from dropping out) and in love (from having met Donna). I was 18 and jobless so I did what comes naturally to young fellas in such situations: I joined a band.
Early in 1982, two of my best buds and I started a Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) band we called Remembrance.
Initially, we were just two acoustic guitars and a bit of harmony doing a few covers (BJ Thomas, anyone?) and a few originals. Our role models were Keith Green, Steve Camp, Larry Norman and DeGarmo and Key.
We wanted to save the church and the world with earnest Christian rock and roll and searing lyrics. We met regularly for prayer, Bible study and band practice. We would go on to play extremely sincere, exceptionally below average light Christian rock for about ten years, recording two cassettes of music ("Mechanical Man" and the lesser quality sophomore effort, "Name I Can't Even Remember").
We traveled all around Louisville and the Southeast US playing churches, street corners and wherever we could get a gig, giving our cassettes away for donations or for free. But I'm getting ahead of myself (by the way, the slideshow video accompanying this posted contain actual photos and scratchy recordings of da band - be warned, it's not pretty...).
Whilst I looked for a real job and began the work of starting this band, Donna and I wrote letters to each (and wrote and wrote and wrote), made phone calls and had the occasional visit - mostly her traveling to see me, as I recall. We missed each other with a passion in those weeks and months in between visits. Oh, how we longed to be in each others' arms, if only for a quick visit.
Donna and I shared an enthusiasm for CCM and I'm relatively sure that when it came time for our February and March birthday gifts, we probably gave each other cassettes of maybe Amy Grant, Brown Bannister, Andrus, Blackwood and Company and, of course, the late, great Keith Green.
We have saved most of our letters we wrote in those first few years of long distance dating (Murray is about 4 1/2 hours from Louisville). Here's an excerpt from one from that first year...
Thanx for the letter. Sorry I sounded depressed on the phone. I'm kinda wantin' to call you now, but reckon I better not. I'll answer your letter first.
Thanks for telling me I'm beautiful. I don't know why you're so good to me when I only give you a bunch of headaches...
And on it would go. She'd write about college. I'd write about job-hunting or Remembrance or we'd both write about Christian bands we were listening to and the news from our respective churches and families. We couldn't afford many calls and so writing is all we had, and writing is what we did.
Being young, unemployed and with few resources, finding ways to make that trip across those million miles between us was nearly impossible but it was the one thing we wanted more than anything.
Could this new, deeply-felt love withstand this distance, with no assurance of any change to come for years?