The year was 1970. I was in the eighth grade at St. Mark’s school in Peoria. I remember the day like it was yesterday. One of my classmates — I’ll call him Paul — brought a Polaroid picture to school to show to his friends. Paul and I were the same age — 13 years old. The person in the picture was the girlfriend of Paul’s older brother. She and Paul’s brother were in high school. She was a student at Academy of Our Lady and Paul’s brother was a student at Spalding Institute.
They were known as the “Golden Couple.” But last month, the gold turned to dust when Angelina Jolie, the queen of the Golden Couple, filed for divorce against the king, Brad Pitt. They lived together for 10 years before they got married in 2014. They are the parents of three adopted children and three biological children, ranging in ages from eight to fifteen.
One of my early mentors — I’ll call him James — was a well-known trial lawyer in Peoria. I met James in January 1983, the same month that I opened my law practice. He started out by giving me research and writing projects. Before long, I was covering his court hearings and helping him prepare cases for trial.
It’s been a couple of years since my three youngest daughters — Mary, Christine, and Teresa — stopped describing boys to me in the way they had always described them. Before they stopped, whenever they talked about a new boy they had met and liked, they focused on how nice he was. They would say, “He’s such a nice guy. You can’t help but like him.”
If you’re a fan of romance novels or chick flicks, you’ve probably heard of Nicholas Sparks. He’s a Catholic novelist, screen writer, and producer who has published 17 romantic novels, nine of which have been made into movies. Three of his most popular movies were Message in a Bottle, The Notebook, and A Walk to Remember.