What’s in a Name?

When I was young and working in Denver, I met a new friend at church, and we hit it off right away. We both needed to economize, so we decided to share an apartment. Then she invited me to double date with her and her boyfriend by going out with his roommate. I was reluctant. After all, I’d always said I would never date, and especially not marry, a redheaded man or one with a “funny” or peculiar last name. So some redhaired guy named David Gouge didn’t appeal to me at all. I mean, how do you even pronounce that last name? Gowj? Gorge? Goog? George? But at my roomie’s pleading, I finally agreed. To my surprise and delight, it turned out David was tall, cute, hardworking, and, best of all, funny.

1 WeddingPicture1965For a week or so, we went out almost every night. You know, the usual things: dancing, movies, house hunting. What? House hunting? Oh, I forgot to say that my roomie and her beau had been dating since high school and he really wanted to marry her, hence the house hunting…with David’s and my help, of course. Pretty soon it was very clear to David and me…and my roomie…that her beau wasn’t the right guy for her. By the end of two weeks, even he could see they weren’t compatible, so they broke up.

But that funny, handsome, redhaired David? He kept on calling to ask me out. And I kept on saying “yes,” even when he asked me to marry him!

We were married on June 11, 1965, just two and two-thirds months (82 days!) after we met. That was just over fifty-three years ago. Above left is our wedding picture.

David in Uniform after WarSince that day, we’ve written quite a family history. We were still working in Denver when David was drafted into the army and I found out I was pregnant with our first child. He went off to basic training, and I moved to southern Colorado to live with my parents. Our daughter Jane was born in 1967. David was sent to Viet Nam, but God brought him safely home. At right is his picture in his 101st Airborne army uniform. He started to work with my father, a professional photographer. We had three more children: Christopher, Timothy, and Sarah. In time, we felt the call of God on our lives, and in January 1980, we moved to Florida so David could attend Bible college.

1 Family 1977


The sunshine state of Florida is quite different from mountainous Colorado. But after thirty-eight years of living here, we are happy to call this place home. At left is our family portrait taken in 1977, a few years before we moved to Florida.

In June 2015, we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Pretty good for a couple that almost wasn’t, all because of my prejudices against red hair and peculiar last name.1 David & Louise in front of cake table

Each of our four children has a smidgeon of that red in her/his hair (from strawberry blonde to rich auburn), and I’ve come to regard it as my favorite hair color. I even dyed my hair red for a few years!

As for that “funny” last name, today when people inevitably mispronounce it, we say, “It rhymes with Scrooge.” Now that’s funny!

About Louise M. Gouge

Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical romance fiction, receiving the prestigious IRCA in 2005 and placing as a finalist in 2011, 2015, 2016, and 2017. When she isn't writing, she and David, her husband of fifty-plus years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at https://louisemgougeauthor.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouiseMGouge/ Twitter: @Louisemgouge
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2 Responses to What’s in a Name?

  1. Jane G Reese says:

    Thanks Mom for the quick clip of some family history! Well written!


  2. Sherri Winnett says:

    Thank you Aunt Louise for the road down memory lane. I remember visiting one Christmas after Jane was born and Uncle David was home. It was the same year we travelled by train and encountered many other soldiers heading to Vietnam.


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