True Love Stories: An ill-fated trip preceded her trip down the aisle |

True Love Stories: An ill-fated trip preceded her trip down the aisle

I met my husband a couple of months before my 10-year Las Vegas High School reunion in 1972. We were both divorced with children. During the reunion dance, he told me he was going to change my name. We did not officially get engaged at that time because I had planned to go to Europe with a girlfriend who was also divorced.

In September of that year, my friend, Sue, and I flew to Brussels, Belgium, and started our grand tour, staying with friends and visiting with my aunt who was performing with “Holiday on Ice.”

At the end of the tour, we were to fly from Belgium to Bangor, Maine. We did not get far before our plane developed a problem and I could see smoke coming out of one of the engines. We landed at Shannon Airport in Ireland until the problem was resolved. It was 5 a.m., and I prayed we would be there long enough to do some shopping at the airport.

We would not return home until nine days later.

A replacement engine for the plane was found in Washington State. But it was lost in transit. Then a plane was found in England that would have taken us home. However, the FAA would not allow it to land in the U.S. Finally, the lost engine was found and the plane was repaired. We made the front pages of all the newspapers in Europe about the Americans stranded in Ireland.

My future husband, Stanley, called me every day and offered to buy my way home, but I did not feel right leaving my friend. Needless to say, Stan’s long-distance bill was frightening.

We were engaged after I returned home. Sometime in January, Stan hurt his back at work and needed surgery. While he was recuperating, I was running back and forth from my house to his house taking care of him. We decided it would be more convenient if I moved in. Since we had children, we decided to go ahead and get married.

Stan went to the doctor for a pain shot so he could manage to get to the Justice of the Peace where we were married Feb. 17, 1973. Six months later, we went on our postponed honeymoon.

Sandra Hudgens