Maggie Gibbons and Dick Geib
were first introduced to each other by their parents on Thanksgiving
Day of 1962 in Piedmont, California (near Oakland). At the time my grandmothers
were friends and both were eager that their children should meet and
get to know each other. My father was in his second year of law school
while my mother was a junior at Holy Names College working at a youth
recreation center in the afternoons. "I don't think I could have married
a woman who was not an athlete," my father recalls, obviously impressed
by this young woman who could make a jump shot and even beat him in pool.
At the beginning, my father would just make casual visits to the recreation
center to shoot baskets with my mom.
dad was much quicker to get serious about things than was my mother.
Catherine Gibbons was very impressed by my father and made these
feelings known to her daughter. This, of course, led her to resist
the thing in an effort to be independent of her mother. This involvement
of the two families at times would complicate and make difficult
the relationship between my parents. And at the time, both my parents
were living at home.
Still, they continued to date as
my father graduated from Boalt
Hall (UC Berkeley) Law School in 1964. This year was to be a
difficult one for their courtship. First, my mom traveled up to Washington
to visit my dad during Christmas and they spent a horrible weekend
in the cold and rain suffering in my father's old Mercury whose heater
had long since died. They did not get along well at all and my mom
left early to return to the Bay Area. "The thing [relationship]
was looking pretty much dead in the water at the time," commented
my dad later sent my mom a warm birthday letter in March of 1965
and they again started talking by phone and writing to each other.
My dad now recounts his once a week phone calls made on the public
phone located in the officers' barracks as a special thing. Finally,
around midnight on a spring evening in mid-May of 1965, my father
asked my mother to marry him at a cottage on Lake St. Clair near
Olympia, Washington. My mother - who had been waiting for him to
ask her - was more than willing to say "yes." They were happily married
at Corpus Christi Church in Piedmont, California on September 11,
1965. My father was 26 years old and my mom 24. My father claims
the months leading up to that day were among the happiest of his
Yet no sooner had they moved into
officers' quarters at Fort Lewis, Washington than my parents were
given stunning news. Approximately one month after they were married
my father received his orders for Vietnam and two months later he
was gone to war. Not surprisingly, this was a stressful year for
both my parents. My mother moved back home with her parents as a
married woman and found work as a teacher. And so while my father
dealt with living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam my mom lived
an anxious existence back in the United States. There was a lot of
anger in the air with the discontent over the Vietnam War, the Civil
Rights Movement, reforms and calls for reform in the Catholic Church,
unrest and rioting in major U.S. cities, etc. All this coupled with
the fear for the physical safety of my father made for a trying year
for my mother. One time an officer friend of my father fresh back
from Vietnam made a courtesy visit to my mom. Upon opening the door
and seeing a soldier in dress uniform, she immediately slammed shut
the door, thinking that he was there to give her the bad news about
her husband. As evidenced by this (in retrospect) comic incident,
my mom was on edge. My parents wrote to each other almost every day
my father was in Vietnam and looked forward to becoming reacquainted
after a year of separation. My father returned safe and sound from
Vietnam in August of 1966.
Happy to be reunited again, my father's
return from war offered new challenges for my parents. He was hurt
and angry by the reception he got from many of his friends and acquaintances
- if not from his country. For example, some of his previous law
school friends now shunned him because of his service in Vietnam.
To this day, my father will not go see a Jane Fonda movie as he sees
her and others of her ilk as naive and disloyal to their country.
This feeling still resonates strongly in him thirty years later.
Yet my parents were insulated to a degree from much of the turbulence
of the times. I (the firstborn) was born almost exactly nine months
to a day after my father's homecoming from Vietnam and my brother
quickly followed. They were starting a family and had neither the
time nor the luxury to get deeply involved in politics or social
issues. My father was trying to get his legal career off the ground
and my mom was a full-time mother of two small babies. Furthermore,
they were living in a small apartment only a short distance from
their in-laws and this was putting additional stress on the relationship.
then my father landed his first prestigious job as an attorney for
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and the family moved there in August of 1970. At first, my mom was
not thrilled to move away from all her family and friends in sunny
California to the unknown bitter cold of Milwaukee. Still, both my
parents claim that was just what their marriage needed at the time. "Moving
to Milwaukee got us away from all the family frictions and pressures
and allowed us to have our own identity as a family - ragged around
the edges but young, vital and loving." he says. My mom agrees
that this was a flowering time for their marriage. "Our marriage
- and our lives in general - offer us infinite possibilities for
renewal," claims my mother, "and this has been one of the
keys to our relationship having been successful." My parents
tell me that they have actually been married five times, each time
to the same person. Upon celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary
a couple of years ago, my mom announced tongue in cheek that they
were going to get divorced and "live in sin." And in September of
1995, on a magical evening in balmy Ojai, California, I was able
to celebrate my parents thirtieth wedding anniversary with them.
It was only three weeks later that my mom was diagnosed with Stage-4
My mother died after a year long
struggle with lung cancer on October 31, 1996.
the Heartbeats Together"
by Robert Graves
by Dick Geib
In honor of Maggie and Dick Geib, loving
wife and husband for thirty years.
Other Maggie and Dick photos...
Maggie and Dick hang with the group on
their first date in 1962. (20.8kb)
Maggie and Dick enjoying the moment a
little more privately later that same night. (13.8kb)
Maggie and Dick cutting the wedding cake as
the community watches and gives their blessing to the union. (35.8kb)
Excited Maggie and Dick with new a baby jumping
into the world of parenting in 1967 with ME! (52.2kb)
Maggie and Dick enjoy their presents next
to Chirstmas tree. (38.6kb)
Maggie kisses Dick after a head massage.
Maggie and Dick together after 25 years
of marriage in 1990. (55.4kb)
Maggie and Dick together after 25 years
of marriage in 1990. (55.4kb)
Maggie and Dick in a picture neither liked -
we look too old in that one! Well, a pro took this shot and it is
in color. If the shoe fits... (12.4kb)
Maggie and Dick cuddle next to the fireplace.
Maggie and Dick fight cancer together in
Maggie and Dick at Hoag Hospital during
chemotherapy treatments in 1996. (25.6kb)