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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Love Stories: Ann and Jimmie Parman

Jimmie and Ann Parman pose for a photo September 2021 on the veranda of the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyo.  (Courtesy of the Parmans)
Jimmie and Ann Parman pose for a photo September 2021 on the veranda of the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyo. (Courtesy of the Parmans)
By Jimmie Parman For The Spokesman-Review

For several years, my brother and I entered our registered Brown Swiss dairy cattle in the livestock show at the Northwest Missouri State Fair in Bethany, Missouri.

The ritual included staying at the fair, night and day, for most of a week to care for the cattle we were showing and keeping our area nice and clean for the fairgoers who perused the livestock barns. Keeping our cots and sleeping area looking nice along with raking, sweeping and sprinkling the walkways, and of course, keeping the poop scooped was a matter of pride and competition among the FFA boys. (It was all boys in those days).

The year I was 14, I began to figure out why the teenage girls of the time suddenly developed an interest in livestock as they paraded through the show barns preening and giggling as they did so. (Any questions about the cattle, ladies?)

In the mid 1800s, “walked out with” was a common term for when a gentleman caller came to a girl’s home and asked to take a walk to show his interest and have a bit of privacy from the rest of the family. In our case, the circumstances were somewhat different, but the terminology fits.

As the fair progressed that year, I “walked out with” a girl or two. (Or three or … )

Ann visited the fair with a cousin one evening along with her cousin’s parents. As you might suspect, their visit included a tour of the dairy barn and a bit of flirtation ensued. After finally “ditching” the cousin and her parents, Ann and I “walked out.” We toured the midway and took in the sights and sounds of the fair’s games, and carnival rides.

At one point, we rode the Ferris wheel. I particularly enjoyed the stops at the top of the ride as cars were loaded and unloaded down below. (I think we held hands at times and I might have put my arm around her shoulders during the ride!) Later in the evening, I walked Ann to her cousin’s parents’ car as they departed.

Well, I guess that “walk out” stuck, as we moved into the rest of our high school years and beyond. We attended school functions as a couple, being delivered by a parent or catching a ride until I turned 16 and got my driver’s license. I can’t count the times my parents drove us to movies and the roller skating rink and then hung out somewhere until it was time to pick us up.

Unfortunately, another girl seemed to express interest in me around the same time I “walked out with” Ann. I usually skated at the Eagleville Roller Rink on Saturday nights. For a couple of weeks, Ann didn’t, but the “other girl” did. During couple skates I skated with the “other girl” a few times.

Then one night, both girls showed up. Soon a “ladies’ choice” skate was announced and I accepted the first invitation. (The “other girl”). Bad mistake!

I begged forgiveness, and after some reflection, Ann forgave, and the “other girl” was over and done with!

After we graduated high school, Ann went on to Gard Business School in St. Joseph, Missouri, and I enrolled at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Ann finished her secretarial studies in just a few months and landed a job in Des Moines, Iowa. I managed to last three semesters at MU, before I decided it wasn’t for me. So I quit that education stuff and began my working career.

We were married in February 1962 at age 19. We had a son in 1963 at age 20, and here we are today in Spokane, Washington!

We both retired in January 2003. Ann, from several jobs as a secretary/office manager as she followed along where my career took us. I retired from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service after nearly 30 years, the last 18 in Spokane.

Again, the 1956 “walked out with” apparently stuck, as we are still together some 65 years later and celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary on Feb. 4, 2022!

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