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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Wants to Slow Down Daughter's Rush to Maturity

DEAR ABBY: Here is a true "he never says he loves me" story: On a beautiful, moonlit night in August of 1935, my future husband, Bill, and I were on our first date. We went swimming in a small lake with a dance pavilion on the shore. From the beach, Bill and I could hear the orchestra.

Suddenly we both got very quiet, listening to a beautiful melody. When the song ended, Bill said, "Gee, that's a pretty song -- do you know the name of it?" I answered, "Love Me Forever." Bill took my hand and said, "Well, that's a long time, but I'd sure like to try!"

Over the years, whenever I told the story about "our song," I liked to tease Bill with, "That was the first and last romantic thing you ever said to me." Not the truth, of course, but it made a good story.

I am now an 86-year-old widow. My Bill died in 1971 -- and the "forever" feels as true today as it did that summer night. -- VIRGINIA "TOOTS" WEITZEL, OLEAN, N.Y.

DEAR "TOOTS": It may have been a first date, but your Bill knew a good thing when he saw one -- and how to close a sale. Your letter touched me. Thank you for sharing your love story.