Thirty Love

ThirtyLoveCherokee Park in Louisville had some great courts that I visited in 1966 whenever possible to sharpen my miserable tennis game. I usually carried my scripture cards with me in those days so I could use any spare time to brush up on my verse memorization. Somehow, one day I left the tennis court with my verse packet still on the bench court side. It showed up in the mail a few days later since I had my name and address printed on the back. I decided that whoever found the packet and took the trouble to return it to me deserved a letter of thanks. And I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to share with the stranger why I took the trouble to memorize bible verses.


A few days later, I learned that the finder was a retirement home chaplain because he called to invite me to a weekly Saturday night evangelistic program for Army basic trainees. Powell and Helene Royster headed the program that bussed the soldiers into Louisville from Fort Knox, about an hour’s drive away. I overcame my shyness and showed up the following Saturday night at the chapel in the Trinity Towers retirement facility

Soon I was serving as a counselor for young men who responded to the invitation to surrender their lives to Christ. Most of these young men were bound for Vietnam after basic training. I am sure that many never returned.

Each Saturday night when I entered the chapel I saw a beautiful young lady who sat alone in a pew and after screwing up my courage, I introduced myself. She was also working in the program as a hostess serving food and soft drinks to the soldiers after the evangelistic service was over. A blond lady on the arm of her husband walked with an artificial leg down the hallway where I met them at the program. I soon struck up a friendship with Jack and Helen Gibson that led to forming a bible study group in their home.

The beautiful young lady whose name was Judy Steorts also came to the bible study but since she didn’t have a car, I quickly offered to pick her up each week from the Women’s Club downtown where she lived. My tennis game didn’t improve all that much but that forgetful moment when I left the packet behind led to some relationships that have lasted decades and a marriage that is the great blessing of my life