As told by Dawn Shrum
During my high school years, my friends and I would cruise around town in my car as most teenagers did. On many occasions there were some guys from West Lincoln cruising around in a four-door ’57 Chevy. I thought the driver was really cute. Being my snide self, every time we passed them I yelled, “Taxi”. They would yell, “Bull.” But we never went beyond that.
Fast forward 10 years later and I have a date one Saturday night with a really cute guy, who turned out to be exceptionally nice. Midway through the evening he looks me in the eye and very seriously says, “You don’t know who I am, do you?” My heart hit the floor, beating so fast I thought I would have a heart attack. I thought to myself, “Oh goodness, what kind of trouble have I gotten myself into this time?” He pauses, and I’m thinking I’ve got to look for a fast exit or a weapon in case I have to defend myself. Once again he looks me in the eye, smiles really slow and yells, “Taxi,” and I yell, “Bull.” The young man was Eddy Ray Heavner, who later became my husband.
Eddy and I actually met in the summer of 1968 or 1969 at Vacation Bible School at Webb’s Chapel Baptist Church in Crouse. His mom, Faye Heavner, and my grandmother, Bessie Potter, worked together at Gibbs (a local underwear manufacturer).
When I was young and in Vacation Bible School, we would make one craft project during that week. The girls made breadbaskets out of craft sticks, Elmer’s glue and marbles. The boys made birdhouses. Eddy kept stealing the marbles out of my breadbasket before the glue could dry. I thought he was being mean and I told him so. He just laughed at me and said, “You’re such a girl.”
My grandma Bessie always said “What’s twice, will be thrice.” As it turned out, she was right, and when we met for the third time it lasted until “death do us part.” Eddy and I dated for 18 years and lived only 10 miles apart until we married. After a brief illness, Eddy passed away on July 17, 2013.
Following Eddy’s death, a friend of mine asked me to go to her beach house at Holden Beach (a place I had never been to before). She said the only condition was that I go there alone and do my grieving and recuperating so I could regroup before returning to work.
The day I drove there would have been our 11th wedding anniversary. As I rounded the curve looking for the correct house, I could have sworn I saw Eddy rocking on the front porch and smiling at me. He looked healthy and happy. I wasn’t frightened by what I saw. I drove the car into the driveway, Eddy smiled at me like he always did when I got home from work, then he was gone. I felt that he was letting me know everything was going to be all right.
Paulette Ballard collects interesting, funny and unusual stories from people in and around Lincolnton. If you have a story you would like to submit for her column, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line type “For your column.” Include your name and phone number for her to contact you.