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ani, glitter

We Fell in Love After Meeting at the Rose Festival

I was a country girl from Boring, Oregon when I met my husband Mike at the Rose Festival in 1972 -- 35 years ago. He was in the Navy and serving aboard the USS Fox and had arrived with the Rose Festival fleet.

My girlfriend and I 'played hookey' from our chores and drove my '69 Camaro into Portland to watch the fleet arrive. We were dismayed to see our faces on the 6:00 news that evening -- and had lots of explaining to do to our folks!

Mike is originally from New Orleans where we still love to go to visit his wonderful family. But he fell in love with Oregon after sitting with me near the downtown fountains, talking about Tolkien for hours, walking down the tree-lined streets near Portland University, enjoying rides and the carnival on the waterfront and getting free beer wherever he went in town because he had his uniform on. We ate Longburgers at Dee's In 'n Out in Gresham and Mike to to see a bear beside Highway 212 (just outside Damascus) while on the way to my folks' house in Boring.

Through him I've fulfilled many of my high school dreams of travel to exotic places. We've lived in Northern and Southern California, Guam and Australia before he retired as a Navy Chief in 1988. Then we moved home to Oregon to raise our three kids in Eugene.

We'll celebrate our 34th anniversary on June 29th this year!

Yeah -- I still have the Camaro! It's been around the world with us and needs lots of work, but I still have it...

~Debra (Coates-Karlen) Burke