The year was 1985.  I was living in the Medical Center part of Houston, Texas working at a video production company.  It was just me and my Maine Coon cat named Doc.  One Sunday I attended church with my parents and afterwards we had church wide lunch.  I sat with my parents across the table from Les and Lisa Williams.  After lunch I went home with my Mom and Dad to spend a few minutes before heading back to my townhouse.  While talking with Mom, I mentioned that I would like to meet a girl like Lisa someday.  Not long after telling Mom that she told Lisa who responded, “I have a sister”.   So, the plan was hatched to try to get Jennifer, Lisa’s sister and me together.  That was no easy task since neither one of us would ever go out on a blind date.  To add to the challenge, I lived in Houston and Jennifer lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

Fast forward to December 17, 1987, after two years of trying to get us together, my Mom and Lisa finally succeeded.  I met Jennifer at Lisa’s house.  We had a lot in common so I asked her if she would like to go to see a movie.  That evening we saw ‘Three Men and a Baby’.  The next day Jennifer was leaving to go back to Lake Charles, but before she left, she wrote down her phone number and gave it to me.  I waited a couple of days before I called.  When I did call, we must have talked on the phone for over an hour.  She later invited me to visit in Lake Charles and wrote down her address.  A few weeks later, I drove my 1979 Grand Prix to Lake Charles to her house.  We then drove across town to her parent’s house to introduce me to them.  I was nervous walking into the house, but her Mom and Dad made me feel completely at home.  Turns out that her Dad and I had a lot in common, I was a car guy and so was he.  I left to go home a day later since I had to be at work the next day.  I recall our phone calls after that were most every night and sometimes lasted over 2 hours.  We were meant for each other. 

I worked at a video production company that made VHS tapes for movie rental places like Blockbuster.  We had the video masters for a lot of big-name movies.  As a joke I took the 1-inch master for Top Gun and edited together the volleyball scene in slow motion and transferred it to a VHS tape.  I mailed that tape to Jennifer.  I wrote on the letter inside the package that this was a few of my friends and me playing volleyball.   I bet she never got something like that before!

A few weeks later Jennifer came to Lisa’s house to visit.  I met them at church.  When we were leaving church, I was going to take Jennifer back to Lisa’s house I walked up to my Corvette.  Jennifer looked at me wondering what I was doing, so I said, “This is my Corvette” She responded, “So, how many cars do you have?”  I said, “Just two, the Grand Prix and the Vette.”  She got in the Vette and I watched her reaction as I got in, she just acted normally.  I had not told her that I had the Corvette because I wanted her to like me for who I am and not what I have.  Since she did not act impressed, I knew she was the one.

Over the next year and half, we would see each other almost every other weekend.  One time I would go to Lake Charles, the next she would drive to Houston.  One time when she was here in Houston, she left my town house to go to Lisa’s house since she had to go home the next morning.  She was about halfway there when her car overheated, and she had to get off the freeway.  She ended up in a hotel parking lot near Hobby Airport, went into the hotel and called me.  I immediately took off to help her.  Once I found her and looked the car over and determined that the engine was damaged by overheating.  I always carry a chain in the trunk of my car, so I hooked up the chain to Jennifer’s car and to the back of my car.  I told her how we were going to tow it where she would provide the brakes and I would pull with my car. When I stuck my hand out of the window, she would know to apply the brakes.  The drive to where we were going was about 10 miles so this was not going to be easy.  We finally got her car to a friend’s shop and dropped it off.  I then took Jennifer to Lisa’s house.  The next day I called my friend and explained what was wrong with the car and he gave me a deal to fix it.  Jennifer said that was the first of many ‘adventures’ of being and Overton, she should have known then that her life would not be routine.

Fast forward to the Spring of 1989.  We were at Jennifer’s house in Lake Charles and I asked, “What about this summer?”  That was how someone like me who is not refined ask her to marry me. So, plans quickly were put into motion.  Both of our families were getting excited about us.  I think due to our age, I was 30 and Jennifer is one year and one month to the day younger than me, many thought that we both would end up single our entire life.  Les said that he would bet that we would get married in June, so we set our wedding date for July 1st, just so Les would be wrong.  To make the ‘Question’ more official, I invited Jennifer for dinner near the Galleria in Houston.  After dinner we went to the Transco Fountain where I gave her the engagement ring. 

 Many years before all of this when I worked at Stapp Towing, Bruce Stapp was not only my boss but a good friend.  One time I asked Bruce if he ever wore a tie.  He responded, “I wore a tie at John’s wedding (his son) and I will wear one at your wedding.”  I think he felt safe that he would never have to wear a tie again.   After Jennifer and I were engaged, I saw Bruce at a restaurant, I went over and said, “Bruce, you better get a tie”.  He stood up and asked, “you are getting married?”

 July 1, 1989, Lake Charles, there was a tropical storm approaching, Tropical Storm Allison.  That did not stop family and friends from the three-hour drive.  The rehearsal dinner theme was car stuff.  There were random car parts as center pieces, plastic Corvette models everywhere and red mechanics rags as napkins.  My neighbor Carol Nelson when I was growing up, did a great job in decorating.  I still have the Corvette that was at the head table in my garage.  It is decorated like a groom’s car on his wedding day.  My Dad was my Best Man, and my brothers were the Groomsmen.  Lisa was the Maid of Honor and Jennifer’s sisters-in-laws were the Bridesmaids.  Right before the wedding started, the tropical storm showed up and the main doors of the church were blowing open from the wind.  The wedding proceeded without a hitch, except when we said our vows, I got tongue tied and could not say ‘I share with you all my wealth’.  Well, no worries there, I had no wealth.  Then the unity candle would not light, so we had to give up on that.  Everything else happened as planned, however.  At the reception we got to say thanks to everyone for attending.  When we were ready to leave, the weather had cleared up.  I opened the car door of my Grand Prix for Jennifer and was about to walk around to the driver’s side.  Bruce Stapp was standing there, gave me hug and shook my hand.  When he shook my hand, there was two one hundred-dollar bills in my palm.  We took off for Houston.   The next morning, we caught a flight to the Cayman Islands for our honeymoon for the week. 

Now 31 years later I am still in love with Jennifer as much as I was back then.  I tell her that I still get lost in her eyes.  I usually tell her that when I am about to be in trouble for something, so I am not sure she believes that anymore.  She says that she never had adventures in her life until she became an Overton. 

Here is to 31 more years and lots more adventures!

Our Wedding

Jennifer wrote down her address that I kept in my wallet for many years

Leaving the Wedding

Corvette from the Grooms Table at the Rehearsal Dinner.  It hangs on a wall in my garage.