There is something special about your first love. No matter how the relationship ends, you carry a torch for that person for the rest of your life. That is certainly true about my first love, Alice, who I met back in the summer of 1964. I had just finished my sophomore year in high school. She had just finished her freshman year at a different high school. We met at a district convention for Teenage Republicans of Pennsylvania, which was held at Valley Forge.
I really don’t remember how we actually met during that can convention. All I remember is spending most of the day with her. The reason I was at that convention was because I had been elected treasurer of the local TAR chapter. The guy who had just been elected its president was a friend of mine named Jack. He was a senior. He asked me if I wanted to go with him to the convention. I said sure. I really had nothing better to do that day. It turns out Alice had been dating one of the other members of my local club who did not go to the convention. His loss, my gain. 🙂
At the end of the day, Alice’s parents came to pick her up and I got to meet them and they got to meet me. We exchanged phone numbers and set a date for me to come visit Alice at her house out on the Main Line, an upscale area of suburban Philadelphia. To get to her house, since I did not drive at that point, I had to take one train to downtown Philadelphia and then walk to a different train station and take a train to the town where Alice lived. She and her mother met me at the train station. Her mother was driving a brand-new 1964 ½ baby blue Ford Mustang. I will never forget that car!
Her mother offered us the option of either walking or riding in the car. We both immediately chose walking. We walked behind the car as her mother drove slowly so we could keep up. She never let us out of her sight, haha. Allison and I held hands all the way to her house, not caring whether her mother approved or disapproved. Alice and I were both big Beatles fans, so, for a time, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became “our song.” To give you some idea of how much we were Beatles fans, two of our biggest dates over the next two years were to go see A Hard Day’s Night and Help, both of which we both absolutely loved.
The biggest date that Allison I had was my junior prom in the spring, I believe, of 1965. I really don’t remember whether I had talked to my friends in high school about Alice very much. As far as most people in my high school knew, I was this quiet and withdrawn teenager who rarely dated. I think I shocked a few people when I walked in with Alice on my arm. She was a very pretty young lady and I’m sure some of the guys were wondering what the hell she was doing with me!
The prom was held in the high school cafeteria. We had a live band and I knew who they were, while most of my classmates probably had no clue. They were an American band from Texas who, at that time, were very much influenced by the British Invasion that dominated rock ‘n roll in the mid-60s. I think I managed to impress a few people with the fact that I knew who they were and actually had the courage to talk to them and make requests. I know Alice was impressed. The band was the Sir Douglas Quintet. I had them dedicate one of their hits to Alice – “She’s About a Mover.” She loved it, and I earned some serious brownie points with her.
A few months into our relationship, Mel Karcher released a song that is the title of this post. That song so aptly described how I felt when I was with Alice and how she felt, that it became our song. I even bought her the record. It remained our song until the end of our relationship in the fall of 1966. I had gone off to college and was expecting Alice to come to Pittsburgh for our homecoming. Unfortunately, I got a letter a week before homecoming from Alice saying she was not coming and breaking off our relationship. That was the second saddest day of my life. I did talk to her long distance from Chicago in 1969. That was the last contact I have ever had with her. But the torch still burns, although not as brightly as it did 50 years ago. Where ever you are Alice, I sincerely hope you’ve had a good life and hopefully you found true love, just as I did 27 years ago with my current wife.