in his own words; the most amazing love story ever...
"Hey ya Sister Sparks and Elder Sparks,
Howz my Batisn, butt bustin, early risin, long prayin daughter and son? A little bit scary when you start getting short. I know, I was once thee myself. I had a stupid sister missionary, not Sister Tanner, that started throwing parties for me the last couple weeks of my mission.
A long time ago, I can still remember when I flew home with the famous Sister Tanner. I was excited that she was in our group coming home together. We were allowed to go to the Swiss Temple for a day before coming home. We had 5 missionaries in our group. 3 Elders and 2 Sisters. When we were in a session together in the Swiss Temple, I saw an American returned missionary friend that had been a good friend to missionaries. As the pray circle began to form, I whispered in his ear that Sister Tanner really liked him. That was all it took. He was a good looking son of a gun. I though t it was a match made in heaven. The trans Atlantic fight was long. We all had to take turns talking to chatty Sister Tanner. All she could talk about was Kerry Wright, Ron Wright's brother. The girl that had been waiting for me had just sent a sterling silver bracelet that said "All my love." Sister Tanner kept telling me "metal demands metal" and that I was dead meat. That brakes went out on the plane in Boston. And we had to wait an additional 6 hour while they fixed the plane. They would not let us off the plane because of customs. Needless to say, by this time I had heard Sister Tanner's life story many times. By the time we got to Chicago we had been awake a very long time. We all had to run like crazy to catch the last planes out to different locations. We quickly exchanged addresses, bid a hasty farewell and that was that. When I got to LAX it fogged in and we had to fly to Edwards Air Force Base and take a bus to LAX. The bus got a flat tire on the way to LAX. It was 4 AM when I finally saw my family. I got home, slept for 2 hours and got up and went to church. I was wasted, which wasn't the look I was going for, my ward had seen me wasted before. They asked me to give the opening prayer and I did it in German accidentally. I immediately entered the meat market as a newly returned RM. As you well know, chicks dig me. There was Leslie, Lori, Lynn and Linda.
Two months after I came home, one day after work my mom said that Sister Tanner had called ans was coming to sunny Cal. I thought she had a lot of gall to come and visit me with her new husband. I called her back and much to my surprise she wasn't married yet. She was coming to Cal with some girl friends and wanted to cash in a coupon I gave her to go surfing and deep sea fishing on my dad's boat.
2 weeks later, Mom, Trudi, Janet Van der Graf (Bacon's mom) were in sunny Cal. I picked them all up from the Disneyland hotel, and we headed down to the ocean. When we got out of the marina, they all stripped down into their bathing suits. These were fine women. I glanced briefly at your Mom and was overcome with guilt because that was Sister Tanner I was looking at. And holy moly I didn't have any idea that Sister Tanner looked that good in a bathing suit. I took them out into the harbor to look at some of the huge boats like the Queen Mary. Suddenly all of Mom's friends wanted to go lay on the beach. I thought, "fur rude!" It's very difficult to get an ocean boat to the beach. I navigated that boat up to rocky break water and the 3 of them jumped out leaving me alone with Sister Tanner in a swim suit. I anchored off shore and talked for a long time about how much we missed the mission field and President Busche. She told me how things had not worked out with Kerry and I told her how Leslie was cold hamburger. A couple of hours later we picked up the girls from the beach and headed over to my favorite surfing spot. I anchored the boat and jumped into the water with my surfboard hoping for the chance to show off my surfing skills. I paddled out into the lineup (surfer lingo for who's up next.) As I was waiting for the next set of waves to come in, I noticed that the anchor had broken loose. I started listening to the surfers around me talking about a boat load of bitchin' babes that were in trouble. I casually paddled over, jumped in the boat, and rode into surfer folklore as the surfer that saved a boat load of beautiful women that dragged him off and later ravaged him.
Ain't folklore's great? After I took the boatload of hot chicks back to the Disneyland hotel, I invited them to a multi stake dance that night. They accepted and I picked them up that night. Your mom looked soooo good. But I was still calling her Sister Tanner. I barely had a chance to dance with her. During the night, I needed to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. I got outside feeling just a little frustrated that I would never have a shot at a girl as beautiful as Sister Tanner. She could have any guy she wanted. As I was standing there lost in frustration, Sister Tanner, who had already been outside, walked up to me and said hi. During the car ride home, I took a chance and told her that if she lived closer, I would love to date her. She responded "That would be nice." But my gut told me I wouldn't see her again. I dropped them off at the hotel and said goodbye for what I thought would be the last time.
One month later, one of the American soldiers that I baptized invited me up for his wedding in the Salt Lake Temple so I called Sister Tanner and asked if I could come visit, good thing for me, she agreed.
So I went to the marriage in the morning, stopped by the mother of one of my companions in the afternoon and asked her for information on a good place to eat. I showed up at Grandpa's house in the evening. I guess I was early because Mom was just betting back from jogging to JoAn's house. I had borrowed my sister Helen's little Karman Ghia. You sit really low in this car and since I already sit close to the ground, she hoped that I would just disappear. No way, not after a 600 mile trip. I came back later and she was all spiffed up. It was then that I met Grandma for the first time. She was cool, but cordial. I took Sister Tanner to an upscale restaurant in Salt Lake City. It was called Victoria Station. It was over dinner that she told me that one time on a date, she dropped a whole salad in her lap. On the way home we listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's song "Our House." We talked about what we wanted in a family some day. We both wanted 12 kids, but having you 4 wised us up a little. Just before we got back to Roy, I opened the glove box and gave her a single red rose. By this point, your Mom had me thoroughly whooped... I was head over heals in love with her. We had the one date and I headed back home the next day. All I could think of from that moment on was your Mom. I didn't think I even had a chance. I thought she was just being nice to me because we were fellow missionaries from the same mission. After I returned home, I continued dating a girl name Lynn Tennis. I liker her because she was the only girl I knew that enjoyed studying the Dead Sea Scrolls with me. One day when I came home from work, Helen came up to me and said Bill, please don't do it! I said "Do what??" She then said Lynn had asked her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding to me. This surprised me a little since I had not asked her to marry me. It was then that my sister Helen did the best thing that she has ever done for me. ...TO BE CONTINUED..."
That's all Dad ever got to. It took him a whole day to type it with one hand (one finger really.) Dad loved Mom so much. He always told us how lucky a guy he was and how she could have had any guy she wanted.
The rest of the story to come later...