About 10 years ago, my sister and I found a shoebox in the bottom of the linen closet in my mom and pops' room. Its contents were letters from when the two of them were dating. They were all written by hand and kept together with the corresponding envelopes they were sent in. At the end of each letter, we were expecting to read Dad’s very square, blocky signature, but instead we found Mom's dainty signature.

When we asked Mom about the letters, she said they were the letters she wrote Dad when he was in the U.S. Air Force. While my dad was enlisted in the Air Force, working in various places overseas, he kept in touch with my mom through the age-old practice of letter writing.

She told us about how the two of them met through her cousin, who shared common friends with my dad. After that, she said he started "courting" her. That was the specific word she used, and it has always stuck in my head. I loved it because it shows just how different their generation viewed the dating scene. It's uncommon to hear to someone use the term now when they’re trying to catch someone else’s eye.

And when my mom mentioned how my dad courted her, it always makes me laugh.

They were in college when they met. My mom was going to school to be a teacher and my dad was an engineering student. They went to different schools, however and my dad would visit her campus to see her in between classes and offering to take her home when classes were out. Mom even said Dad offered to do her homework for her. I guess that was his way of laying his coat over a puddle for her to walk on instead of getting her suede heels wet. She also joked that she had to “fight other guys off with a stick" because they knew my dad was away overseas.

They were together for nine years and finally married after my dad returned to the Philippines after leaving for the United States with his eight siblings. He served on Clark Air Force Base until he was transferred to Bergstrom in 1985.


My parents, Ben and Nellie Rodrigo. Their love story will always make me laugh.

They celebrated their 33rd anniversary on June 23 this past summer. Of course, there are moments when I questions how they could be so compatible – Dad being so logical and realistic and Mom so carefree and playful – but in the end, it's obvious from the way they look at each other, that they love each other dearly. They've raised three kids along the way and continue to share little love moments since my siblings and I have grown up and moved out. It always make me laugh when I think about how Dad did Mom's homework when she was in school and she laughs about it, too. Dad's not proud that we know about it, but I know he wouldn't change anything about how they fell in love.

This story illustrates how the simple act of writing a letter or doing someone else's homework can transform something into a romantic love story.

Golden Crescent Magazine is looking for the sweetest love stories in the Golden Crescent to share in the January/February issue. Tell us how you met the love of your life or how your parents or best friends fell in love. Write us a letter – no more than one page in length – about your love story. Be sure to send us their contact information so we can get in touch with them if we choose them for the feature. The only other requirement is that they must live within the Golden Crescent region.

Send your letter to gc@vicad.com or mail it to
Jessica Rodrigo/GC Top 5
311 E. Constitution St.
Victoria, TX 77901

I look forward to reading all everyone’s letters soon. The deadline is Friday, Nov. 4. If you have any questions, give me a call at 361-574-1224, or email me at jrodrigo@vicad.com.