First Date

It was 23 degrees below zero ― actual Fahrenheit temperature not that silly wind chill nonsense ― with a foot or so of snow on the ground. Born and reared in Iowa on the banks of the Mississippi River, I simply bundled up and trudged off to my Saturday morning physics class. The only other person who showed up that morning was a young man named Roy [Pengra ’69] who hailed from South Dakota. We waited 15 minutes for Professor Clotfelter (who wisely stayed home) then decided coffee at the Forum beckoned. I will never forget our instant laughter as we opened the doors and found every room bustling and bursting with students who apparently found it too cold to go to class but no problem at all to take the day off to play bridge or pool. Fifty years of married life later, Roy and I still count ‘hot coffee at the Forum on a very cold day’ as our first date.

It was 23 degrees below zero ― actual Fahrenheit temperature not that silly wind chill nonsense ― with a foot or so of snow on the ground. Born and reared in Iowa on the banks of the Mississippi River, I simply bundled up and trudged off to my Saturday morning physics class. The only other person who showed up that morning was a young man named Roy [Pengra ’69] who hailed from South Dakota. We waited 15 minutes for Professor Clotfelter (who wisely stayed home) then decided coffee at the Forum beckoned. I will never forget our instant laughter as we opened the doors and found every room bustling and bursting with students who apparently found it too cold to go to class but no problem at all to take the day off to play bridge or pool. Fifty years of married life later, Roy and I still count ‘hot coffee at the Forum on a very cold day’ as our first date.

Lilah Morton Pengra ’69
Buffalo Gap, South Dakota
Issue: 
Prompt: 
Winters in Iowa Can Be Brutal