Random Thoughts

My greatest surprise

... what a present

by Ann Robbins Talbot

I had met him at Trailblazers Day Camp. I was to be a college senior. He was a vet returning from
two years in Germany during the Korean Conflict. He drove the bus transporting the kids to Salem,
New Hampshire, every day. I led the singing of great old camp songs like "I’ve Been Working on the
Railroad" as we rode along. Otherwise, we hardly knew one another, our age difference being seven

The following summer I had graduated. He was teaching fifth grade in Wellesley. I watched him
closely as he had a wonderful rapport with all the campers. As I was about to teach for the first
time in Newton, I pestered him about the beginnings of a school year. He was my role model, the teacher I wanted to be. He would just laugh and say that I would do fine.

One day he invited me to join him for dinner at China Moon on the way to a counselors' meeting in
Reading. I had never tasted Chinese food before, but became an immediate fan of shrimp with lobster
sauce. We dated a few times. Summer ended and we went back to school.

During the year we dated, but we did not go back to camp. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with his
sister who lived over the general store in Boxford. We went down into the empty store to do an
errand, a common occurrence. There, between the Black & Decker tools and the Clark’s assorted
threads, he asked me to be his wife. I was totally surprised – in fact, flabbergasted. It took me
about three seconds to make up my mind and he put a diamond ring on my finger.

We were a great team for forty-five years.

September 2, 2011

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