It was a blistering hot Spokane day when Roy and his girlfriend Linda hopped on his motorcycle and left the city behind heading towards nearby Northern Idaho—with its tall shady trees and perfect swimming lakes.
Linda’s hair blew free as the motorcycle cruised at speeds faster than were posted.
They stopped at Nordman, Idaho’s lone attraction—a combination post office, bar, and store featuring a few shelves of items you might need for a camping trip. Roy saw that his friend Howie had his motorcycle “chopper” out front. But Howie was taking a nap in the shaded grass nearby.
Roy and Linda walked over because Roy wanted Linda to meet his friend. Howie recalls waking up a bit bleary eyed to see a girl in a bikini standing over him. Roy suggested that Howie take Linda on a quick chopper ride.
Howie eagerly agreed. Linda and the long-haired young man roared out of Nordman heading towards the lake. They didn’t return for three hours. Roy was totally miffed, but it was the beginning of a summer love story for Linda and Howie.
Their romance wasn’t a little campfire. It was a full-fledged bonfire. They decided to get married right in the same grassy place where they met—next to the Nordman store. It was a gorgeous sunny day on June 9,1973 as they recited their marriage vows.
But on June 9, 2023, it was raining as Howie and Linda walked towards the place where their love story began—50 years ago.
I was standing at the store entrance when Linda kindly asked if I’d take their picture with the Nordman sign in the background. My husband Tom is better at camera work—and he readily agreed. We enjoyed hearing their story of summer love.
I smile as I think of them still talking about those hot days, a fast chopper, and a love that lasted 50 years. There have been a lot of summers since then.
As summer begins for all of us, I hope the heat kindles some new love stories—and may the older love stories enjoy the warmth from the campfire built long ago.