No Other Love

Feb 14, 2014
Woody and I on our first date, sitting in front of the Terrace Hotel.

Throughout my early school years, my diary highlights always included what happened on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. Amazing entries consisted of how many I received and did the right boy send one. His name could have been Buzzy, Ernest, Sam, David, Tom, Dick or Harry. Who was THE one for that day? My mother agreed lots of boyfriends were better than just one at those times in my life. I think the perfect description was “puppy love.”

Even when I was 16 and sang about love and “that man of mine,” I knew nothing about what the words meant. In blue jeans and a hat to match, I played my trusty old ukulele as I belted out, “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man of Mine.”  I didn’t win the prize in that talent show at Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska, but I sure had fun.

But eventually, with Valentines, boyfriends and talent shows behind, I found THE man of my dreams during the summer of 1953. The preceding summer, I had met him here at the lake and thought he was a troublemaker. His name was Woody, and he was visiting for a few days with his roommate who worked at the Terrace Hotel. His roommate was my boyfriend that summer, but very quickly my dates with him were no more. He and Woody had fun together and I was not included.

You can guess what I felt about that. I was angry and blamed Woody, who appeared to be an intruder into my love life.

But soon I was very excited as I went off to college in Georgia, as a freshman. That year I enjoyed the campus life, classes, and, of course, new boyfriends. The next time I even thought of Woody Adams was the day I visited a friend near the college where my old boyfriend attended.

But he wasn’t there that night so Woody came to the car to tell us. I couldn’t have cared less about Woody’s kindness, because I had already labeled him “the intruder.”  Months went by, and soon I dreamed of happy summer days as I returned to Lake Junaluska. It was a joy to see old friends. One afternoon, I went with some girlfriends to the Memorial Chapel to get involved again in the Methodist Youth Fellowship. But when I saw who was there, I said to my best friend, Betty Anne, “Oh no, not Woody Adams again.”

But in a few days, those negative thoughts changed. I was surprised that my heart was now being touched by Woody. It began a few nights later when he was the master of ceremonies at the Terrace Hotel during another youth meeting. He sang about love, and I was thrilled by his rich, baritone notes and the perfect words of “Too Young.” Before I left that night, I told my date to wait for me outside because I had to tell Woody something.

I went up to him, smiled sweetly, and said, “Woody I sure am glad I like you THIS summer.” I quickly returned to my date on the porch as I wondered what Woody thought of my bold statement. Soon I learned.

He came to the boathouse the very next morning, where I worked, and asked, “Lucy, you mean you didn’t like me last summer?”

As we talked, I realized I had been confused about him. He was not at fault for the “break-up” with my old boyfriend. So with that understanding, I saw his kindness and caring, and that led to more and more time together.

However, there was one more boy on my calendar. Before Woody became an important part of my life, Ray had asked me for a date. Now, I did not want to go, but I kept my promise. The night arrived and we were sitting at a booth in the old Soda Shop, talking and eating while great music was playing on the jukebox.

Woody came over to the table and asked Ray if he could dance with me. When Ray said, “Ok,” I was thrilled. Quickly we were together, dancing to our favorite song, “No Other Love.” The closer we got to the door, the thought came to both of us to sneak out and go down by the lake. However, we both decided it wasn’t a good idea that night, so he took me back to the table when the song was over.

Woody was polite to Ray as he thanked him for letting him dance with me. We have never forgotten Ray’s response, and it makes us laugh to this day, almost 60 years later —  “Think nothing of it, buddy.”  Later that night, as Ray walked me back to my house, I told him that it would be our last date. “I have met the boy I am going to marry,” I announced boldly. His laughter echoed across the waters. “How long have you known him?” I did not tell the full story, but I knew it was no laughing matter.

My bold statement came true. Our love was real and we dated morning, noon, and night the rest of the summer.  One afternoon, my mother thought she had a great idea. “Woody, why don’t you go back to the hotel and read a book so Lucy can bake a cake?”  We laughed and obeyed, but her suggestion worked for only one day. Summer ended and college began, but visits, phone calls, and letters continued for two more years. In a special dresser drawer, I have those 514 letters wrapped in a ribbon of love.

Our marriage began, at Lake Junaluska in the Memorial Chapel. Our love continued and has not ceased.  For many years we have shared valentines and asked each other, “Will you be my Valentine?” The answer is always, “Yes.” Sometimes, we even sing the first line of our song: “No other love have I, only my love for you.” We continue to put that old record on our phonograph and dance again.

We have made a great discover — That question was never meant to be asked only once a year.