By Joe Rector

Last weekend, Amy, Dallas, and I traveled to Cookeville. She attended a luncheon with some high school classmates, and afterwards, we spent time at the Cookeville fair. It’s the kind of fair that brings back memories to some of us when the TVA&I Fair was a fun, safe event. What was most special to me was riding around Cookeville and the campus of Tennessee Tech and sharing memories with my son.

We first rode down Highway 70 to the County Farm Road. That’s where Amy and her parents lived back in 1973. I remember driving to her house that first time. Nerves were frayed, and they were still in bad shape when I met Papa and talked to Amy’s mother. By the end of the evening, I knew that Amy Alice Moore was the most spectacular girl I’d ever met. I made trips down that road and to that house a couple of thousand times over the years dating and then visiting with Amy and the children.

After driving to see the new Academy Sports complex and looking at other new places, we drove to a corner lot on Scott Avenue. A large business office is near there now, but years ago, Parkview Methodist Church sat on the property. That is where my brothers, their wives, and I attended church, and so did Amy. We met there, and at first, neither of us was much impressed with the other. It was the badgering of the minister, Bill Menees, that led me to ask Amy out the first time. He must have had some kind of divine intervention to have pushed me to do so. We married in that church, but even though it was destroyed by fire several years ago, those good memories survived.

We drove by the TTU baseball field and softball complex. Amy and I spent a fall afternoon walking where that softball field is now located, and it was a time when I marveled at how lucky I was to have found someone so beautiful and kind to love. Friends all knew that with her, “I’d outkicked my coverage!”

Dallas and I next drove to the student center on campus. A new upper deck has been added to the back of the building. We found rocking chairs there and sat for a spell. The parking lot in back has been replaced with sod, but I still recall more good things that occurred in that area. A couple of days after our first date, I was leaving the student center and exited just as Amy’s PE class ran by. She passed me and waved. Her hair was in a bun, and her shorts and t-shirt were much different from the outfit she’d worn on our date. Still, she was gorgeous.

Standing in the parking lot not much longer after that, Amy and I told each other how we felt. She doesn’t remember that occurring, but I sure do. Why wouldn’t I? There stood a wonderful girl who told me she loved me. How much luckier could a plain person like me be? I’ve never been more stunned, excited, or happy in my life.

I could have taken Dallas to more special places to me for quite some time, but I didn’t want to bore him too much. Instead, we made a trip to Ralph’s Donuts, a must stop anytime a person travels to Cookeville. Before long, Amy called for us to pick her up from the restaurant. I looked at her when she got in the car and smiled at how lucky I was and still am nearly 45 years later. It was a good trip to Cookeville and down Memory Lane.