You could say that I made an impression on my second date with Lynn Weinkauf. I can laugh about it now, almost fifty-three years later, but I didn’t laugh back then.
Lynn was a speech therapist in the Janesville, Wisconsin, public school system; I was a school psychologist. We began dating in the summer of 1968, and this would be our second date. I knew that Lynn was an outdoors girl and a good golfer. I discovered later that she came by that quite honestly. Her parents, Evelyn and Wesley Weinkauf, were also good golfers, especially her mother.
I asked Lynn to go on a golf date at Janesville’s Riverside course, and she accepted. I golfed, but not very well. I hit long and sometimes down the fairway—that is if I was lucky and it was a good day. Usually, it took a while for me to find the fairway.
I’d been having a severe slice on my drives, and I was trying to correct it. I soon discovered that Lynn was the opposite; she hit fairly short but straight down the fairway—always!
We’d played several medium- and short-length holes when we arrived at a long one—so long that there was a tee-off for the woman that was seventy-five yards ahead of the men’s tee-off. I told Lynn to go hit her ball and then move to the small shelter that was off to her right. I’d hit my ball after she got behind the protective structure.
Lynn hit her ball, just as straight as usual and maybe a hundred fifty yards down the fairway. She walked to the shelter and stood behind it. I set my ball on the tee, waggled my club a couple of times, then as an afterthought, I called to Lynn, “I’m going to keep my head down. Keep your eye on my ball, will you please?”
I took a couple more practice swings before swinging for contact—and I kept my head down. Whack! I looked up just in time to see another severe slice. And I saw that Lynn did just as I’d asked; she kept her eye on the ball, all the way to her shoulder.
While waiting to see an emergency room doctor, I could see that Lynn was in pain, but she never complained or said a word of rebuke. I was mortified, but I felt even guiltier when she returned from the doctor’s exam wearing a sling, with word that I’d broken her collarbone.
What a way to start a relationship, a relationship I was sure would end almost as soon as it had started. But no, she accepted when I asked her to marry me. But I’m not sure if that acceptance represented her wishes or if she was afraid of the consequences if she said “no.”