Suzanne wrote me back with directions to her house. I sent her a letter on Wednesday to let her know I would be there Friday.
I wrote, “About the time you get this letter, I will be driving down your driveway.” As it turns out, this was pretty close to accurate.
I followed the directions she sent me. The directions took me to a driveway that had a sign that said “Private Property, No Trespassing.” There were also hand-drawn pictures of a pistol and a skull and cross bones.
I decided to err on the side of caution and look for a friendlier house. I went to see if my friend and youth director, Eddie Bledsoe, was home. He was. I asked him if he knew where Suzanne Gunter lived.
Eddie thought and said, “That must be one of Jimmy Gunter’s girls." As it turns out, she is the oldest of Jimmy Gunter’s children.
He told me the driveway I had was the correct one and that I should go back. I decided to wait just a little while to make sure the mail had time to run. A little while later, I drove down the 72 mile long driveway. At least it felt that long. I felt sort of like a convicted felon walking the last steps to the gallows.
When I reached the end of the driveway, I saw two teenaged boys and Cousin It. I say it was Cousin It because it had hair all around its head. The hair was dripping wet and the little It said was practically impossible to understand.
I was told by Suzanne’s twin brothers and Cousin It that Suzanne was inside washing her hair.
As it turns out, when Suzanne got my letter, she felt she needed to wash her hair before I got there. Cousin It, who turned out to be Suzanne’s younger sister, for some reason felt she should wash her hair before Suzanne washed hers.
Suzanne’s brothers entertained me by asking me questions about cars, the rescue squad, and what I planned to do with their sister. Soon, Suzanne emerged from the house. She was beautiful and, of course, was giggling that nervous giggle of hers.
That night Suzanne’s mother allowed me to take Suzanne on an unofficial date to M Night at Middleton Road Baptist Church. We would not be allowed an actual date until Suzanne turned 16 a week later.