Boxer Love Story: Carlisle Harrison '57 & Lydia (Fahner) Harrison '60

As a senior, Carlisle arrived early to campus because he drove a school bus. To fill in his time between bus schedules and before classes began, Carlisle would work in the cafeteria.

“Besides earning money, it was an opportunity to meet the new girls who would be attending a week of orientation,” said Carlisle.

It was in the cafeteria line that he first saw Lydia.

“I knew I had to move quickly because the purported odds were six men for every woman on campus.”

With his full schedule and the end of the week approaching, he was becoming desperate in trying to find a way to meet this “cute little gal.” Carlisle asked her if she wanted to go on a ride out in the country.

“When explained it would be on a school bus, I think she saw it as a novel adventure and consented,” said Carlisle. “Not many girls could claim their first date was on a school bus with the driver being their date.”

After the bus adventure, Carlisle and Lydia had a legendary Tip Top nickel root beer float offered by Mr. Watrus to students. Lydia remembers the ride as one where the high school boys were making comments and some of the girls, who were only a year younger than her, glaring at her.

As the weeks progressed, Carlisle made sure he “had my bid in” for dates for every activity on campus. It wasn't too long before they were known as an item on campus and the threat of possible competition was over.

Carlisle and Lydia, along with a few others, became engaged during the Christmas break and were married at the end of June in 1957. The couple spent their first summer in a forest service cabin. That fall Carlisle began teaching junior high science in Hermiston, and they still reside there.

“We have enjoyed returning to Pacific for our respective reunions and reflecting on the romance that blossomed in 1956-57 and continues for these 57 years together.”

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Monday, Feb. 10, 2014