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Keith and Judy Veselits

Love Story: Keith and Judy Veselits recreate their first kiss they shared on a first date along the Spokane River. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Love Story: Keith and Judy Veselits recreate their first kiss they shared on a first date along the Spokane River. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

We met cruising Riverside. Well … sort of.

I was with my best friend Chuck in his ‘65 Mustang, and Judy was with her best friend Patty. I don’t know what they were driving because we didn’t actually talk to them until a little later that night.

This was a time before cell phones or video games or social media, or computers for that matter. As a teenager, if you wanted to meet people you had to do it in person, and what better place than cruising Riverside on a Saturday night?

Chuck and I were told by a group in another car that there was a party at an apartment building near Avista (Washington Water and Power at the time). We thought it was worth a try.

So we drove to the address, but were a little confused when we got there - the front door was wide open but it didn’t appear that anyone was there, other than two gorgeous girls standing out front with the same confused look on their faces.

“Do you live here?” we asked.

“No” they answered. “We heard there was a party here but when we got here the door was open and no one was home.”

Perfect!

I sat down with Judy, and Chuck with Patty. We broke out the beer and proceeded to have a party of our own.

Judy suggested at one point that we take a walk down by the river, which was across the street. And there we shared our first kiss.

I was hopelessly in love from that point on. On our way back to the apartment Judy realized it was getting light outside. “I have to get home before my Dad wakes up or I’ll be grounded for a year!” she exclaimed in horror. We had talked all night, and it seemed like 5 minutes.

The owners of the apartment never reappeared, but thanks to them and the use of their apartment, it was the beginning of a 40-year marriage, interspersed with many trips to the river, lakes, ocean and any other body of water we could find.


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