Part Seven

I could go on about the joys of growing up with a bio-polar paranoid schizophrenic, but who doesn’t have those stories?

No, I’ll write about the main reason I came back to Northeastern Ohio, Mary.

Mary and I first met at a birthday party in Brunswick, sometime in 1958. Mary was five and I was six. We have pictures of the event. From the looks of it, we liked each other.

BUT Mary went to St. Ambrose Catholic elementary School and I went to Applewood Elementary.

By the time Mary started at Brunswick Jr. High, I’d moved to Chippewa.

We did have a lot of friends in common during our high school years. We went to a lot of the same parties. Unfortunately, Mary always had to leave the party just before I would arrive. I heard a lot of “Oh, you just missed Mary Pronik.” Mary heard a lot of ‘But dean balog is on his way here.”

I believe we did manage to attend one party at the same time. It was a graduation party. A great party. A party BHS Class of 71 still talks about. It was the only party I went to during high school with a “date”. I put date in quotes because I’d talked Bonne Black into going to it. (I even talked her into driving).

In those few years between graduating high school and joining the Air Force, Mary and I continued to keep missing each other by 15 to 30 minutes.

About the time I was contemplating joining the Air Force, Mary and my sister Denise (aka Decie) became friends. While I was off defending America from the English and Delawareans, they became good friends.

So, after Rachel and I split, my sister apparently decided Mary and I needed to finally get together. And so we finally did.

For our first “date” (again with the quotes), Mary, her friend Linda, and I went out to a now defunct bar called The Mistake, it was under the old Agora bar. Mary and Linda dressed up as the flashiest, trashiest outfits. They looked very professional. I, in contrast, wore my clerical garb. The Mistake was packed, but the crowd parted like the Red Sea for us as we made our way to the bar.

That was 1978. We got married June 21, 1980.

She’s been stuck with me since then.

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