• As a 12-year-old competitive athlete, Dorothy Hamill usually went to bed at 7 p.m. in order to get up at 5 a.m. so she could practice. She was ashamed of her early bedtime and worried that her friends might find out and make fun of her. Therefore, she made her mother promise that if anyone called after 7 p.m., she would tell them that Dorothy was out. Once, she went to a school dance. For this special occasion, her curfew was extended by an hour. While at the dance, she waited for a boy whom she liked to arrive. He walked in at 8 p.m. — the same time her father walked in to take her home.
• When Billie Jean King was growing up in Long Beach, California, a tennis pro named Clyde Walker started giving free lessons in the public parks to any children who showed up. Each day, he traveled to a different park to give a lesson, and he soon noticed that no matter which park he went to, Billie Jean was there to receive instruction. He asked, “What are you up to? I just worked with you yesterday.” Billie Jean replied, “This is how I’m going to get better.”
• When she was a kid, Sarah Tueting, a gold-medal winner as a goaltender on the United States women’s hockey team at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games, watched a goaltender during a game, moving from one end of the arena to the other as the goaltender changed positions. Her parents thought she had a crush on the boy, but she was actually studying his goaltending moves.
• Jackie Joyner-Kersee became an Olympic gold medalist through lots of rigorous practice and training. When she was young, her family built her a long-jump pit near their porch. To get sand for the pit, Jackie and her sisters went to a nearby playground, filled empty potato chip bags with sand, then carried the sand back home.
• At one of the marriages Edwin Porter performed as a preacher in Texas during the first half of the 20th century, the best man took the wedding ring out of his pocket, passed it to the groom, who passed it to Rev. Porter, who passed it back to the groom, who placed it on the bride’s finger. The bride had been watching the proceedings with interest, and being proud of her first ring, said to all present, “I know it’s pure gold, or it would a-wore out with all that passin’.”
• On Saturday, May 25, 1963, tenor Richard Lewis and Elizabeth Robertson were married. That afternoon, beginning at 5:45 p.m., he performed in Fidelio at Glyndebourne. A notable aspect of the performance was the Male Chorus, composed of prisoners who should have looked downtrodden, but who were looking happy and inebriated — the result of the champagne reception.
• When comedian Bob Newhart married Virginia “Ginny” Quinn in 1963, she wasn’t completely sure she was doing the right thing, even as she walked down the aisle of the church. In fact, she was shaking so much that her father whispered to her, “Sweetheart, I can still get you out of this.” (Fortunately, the marriage turned out to be happy.)
• Marie Curie, two-time winner of the Nobel Prize, was very practical. When she got married to her husband, Pierre, she did not buy a white wedding dress that could be worn only once. Instead, she wore a navy gray suit — she deliberately chose a color that would not show dirt — that she could wear in the laboratory later.
• In Poway, California, Msgr. Charles Dollen helped a prospective groom and bride to fill out a prenuptial-questions form. One question asked, “Are you entering this marriage of your own free will?” The nervous groom-to-be hesitated for a very long time, until finally his fiancée told him, “Put down ‘Yes.’”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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