Janice Rude was born in Reno, Nevada. She came from a humble background, and from an early age, her father taught her that if she wanted to be respected, that she had to work hard. This lesson always stayed with her, which was why she worked hard in school. When she got into college, her father was very supportive. It wasn’t something that he forced Janice to do. She knew that she had to go to college if she was going to get a good job. She decided to pursue a degree in biology at Occidental College.
Prentiss Wilson came from an affluent family. When he first got to Occidental College, he joined the Kappa Sigma fraternity and had big plans in mind. At the time, none of his plans included falling in love. His parents pushed him very hard, and they had big expectations for him. He was studying law in college, and eventually, he became the president of his fraternity. Prentiss had a mind of his own, and when he saw something that he didn’t like in his fraternity, he decided to do something about it. When a black student attempted to pledge the fraternity, the national fraternity union refused to let him in because he was black. Prentiss wasn’t’ going to stand for this racism, and he and his fraternity brothers got together and decided to quit the national fraternity and become independent. When they were independent, they allowed the black student in. His name was Gene Gribsby.
Janice’s father got money from her father to pay for her tuition. To cover the rest, she had to work at the campus cafeteria. This was how she and Prentiss met. It was 1962, and he noticed Janice right away. He would often wake up early so that he could be one of the first people in the cafeteria every day just to see her. When Janice noticed him, it was love at first sight. The couple started by making small talk, which led to conversations. Janice loved their talks every day, and on the days that Prentiss didn’t show up, Janice would worry. Janice had no idea that Prentiss woke up so early for her, and Prentiss had no idea that Janice was looking forward to seeing him each day.
Even though it was Prentiss’ first year in college, he was fitting right in with college life. H was studying law, he was the president of his fraternity, and he worked out. Each morning before class, he would go for a morning run. After, he would head right to the cafeteria so that he could be the first person in Janice’s line. Even though they talked and looked forward to seeing each other, they still didn’t know the other’s name.
Not a Chance
Even though the two were attracted to each other, Prentiss thought that he didn’t have a chance with her. He felt that because she was a year ahead of him and so beautiful that she didn’t even notice him. What Prentiss didn’t know was that Janice was falling for him as well. It was three weeks after the couple first saw each other that Prentiss finally learned her name. Not long after, Janice learned his name. She remembered hearing his name in the news after he helped the black student in the fraternity. This only made her like and respected him more.
Before Thanksgiving, every year, Occidental College holds a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for the students to celebrate. It was also a good chance for them to get to know one another before heading back home for the holiday. Janice was excited about the dinner because she knew Prentiss would be there. Janice was very disappointed that he wasn’t there, so she decided to make the bold move of asking one of his friends where he was. His friend told her that he had gone home early to be with his family.
Going For It
Janice was thinking about going to Prentiss’ family’s home to see him. Since the two didn’t know each other well, she knew that it was a very bold move, but she wanted to see him. She asked around to get his home address but wasn’t sure if she was going to use it. She didn’t know if he wanted to see her, and his house was a 160 mile drove from the college. Finally, she decided to take a chance and make the trip. It took her three hours to get there, and she sang along with the radio the whole way. She didn’t feel at all nervous until she got to his door. When she got there, she had no idea that Prentiss had been sitting on the couch at his family’s couch, reading a book, thinking about how upset he was that he missed their meetup in the cafeteria. When he saw her standing at his door, he couldn’t have been happier.
Prentiss wasn’t the only person at the house who was happy to see Janice. His parents welcomed him with open arms. They connected with her over dinner, and his mother was taken with her right away. Janice was happy that she was welcomed so warmly, and Thanksgiving was the turning point in her relationship with Prentiss.
When the two returned to campus after the holiday, things had changed between them. They weren’t just chatting in the cafeteria anymore; they were a couple. They were together all the time, and they couldn’t have been happier. After just a few short months, Prentiss asked Janice to marry him. Janice said yes, and their engagement was announced in the paper. Janice was excited to be marrying the man she loved. Unfortunately, their love wasn’t to be. When Janice’s father got involved, everything changed.
The only person who wasn’t happy about the engagement was Janice’s father. He didn’t want her getting married so young before she had a chance to finish school and make something of herself. He told Janice that if she got married, that he wouldn’t be paying for her tuition any longer. This left her being forced to choose between the two things that she loved most in the world. She knew that she couldn’t afford college on her own, but she wanted to be with Prentiss. Janice’s mother didn’t agree with her husband’s ultimatum, so she took a second mortgage out on the house to help her daughter. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. Janice had no choice. Her education was too important to her, so she ended things with Prentiss. If she didn’t get a college degree, she worried that Prentiss would fall for a smarter, more successful woman, and she would be left with nothing. She had no choice but to end the relationship.
The couple’s meetings in the cafeteria ended, and after graduation, Prentiss went east to attend Harvard Law School, and later became a tax attorney. Eventually, he moved back to California, and he settled in the Bay Area. After Janice graduated with her degree in biology, she moved on to run the family business. They ran a successful diving board company, and under Janice’s watch, the company became so successful that she was inducted into the USA Diving Association Hall of Fame in Seattle.
Life Went On
Janice and Prentiss didn’t just move on with their careers; they also moved on with their lives. They both married other people, and if they did run into one another, they saw each other as friends. Their engagement felt like another lifetime, and they were each other’s past. Despite the fact that they were married to other people, they both carried a torch for one another; they just kept it to themselves.
The Loss Of Their Mothers
It was 47 years after the couple separated, they both lost their mothers within a month of each other. When Janice was helping to clean out her mother’s things, she started cleaning out her purse and found something shocking. Dad forces daughter to call off her wedding, 50 years later, she finds a note in her mom’s wallet that made her go look for him. She found a copy of the engagement announcement in her mother’s wallet, and she even had it laminated. Around the same time, Prentiss also found the engagement announcement that his mother had held onto all these years. At the time, they were both divorced, and they saw it as a sign. When Prentiss reached out to Janice asking her to meet, she was thrilled. She couldn’t help but wonder if there was still a spark.
The two met at the Cliff House in San Francisco. It took place on June 20, 2010, several decades after they broke up. After being apart for 47 years, they weren’t sure if they would still feel the same. When they got together, it was as if no time had passed. From that moment on, the two were dating again. Prentiss waited six months, and he asked Janice to marry him. This time, she knew that it was her choice, and she said yes. Nothing was going to keep her from Prentiss this time. This time was different than the last because when they got engaged in college, they never set a date. This time, they set the date right away.
Janice and Prentiss were married on August 19, 2012. The wedding took place at the perfect place, on the campus of Occidental College, where the couple first met. They wanted to go back to where it all began. Many of their fellow classmates attended, and it was the wedding that they should have had 47 years earlier. When they spoke to the Occidental College magazine, they said that being apart for 17,500 days, almost half a century, made them even closer. The longing that they felt for all those years just made their marriage even more special.
Janice says that she couldn’t be happier that she and Prentiss were finally together, but the wedding was bittersweet. Janice’s mother had always supported her love for Prentiss and always wished deep down that the two had gotten married. Now that the day had finally come, Janice was sad that her mother wasn’t there to see her daughter marry the man she was truly meant to be with. Prentiss felt the same way because after finding the engagement announcement in his mother’s things, he realized how much she wanted her son to marry Janice. They both agree that their mothers are the ones who got them together after all these years, even though they were gone. Janice says that her mother was still rooting for the couple, even in death, and she was sad that she couldn’t be there at the wedding.
Meant To Be
After the wedding, Janice and Prentiss settled down in their new lives together. They realized from the very beginning that they were meant to be. Janice says that she had a beautiful life, but now that she was finally with her soulmate, that everything feels right in the world. Prentiss says that he felt the same way. He says that finding each other again was like a dream come true. Janice’s father may have torn them apart when they were in college, but true love prevailed. They found their way back to each other, and they are thrilled that they will live the rest of their days together. Thanksgiving is a huge holiday for the couple because it changed their relationship all those years ago. It isn’t too often that you lose the love of your life, and you find them again almost a half-century later, and then pick up where you left up. Janice and Prentiss are thankful that they finally found each other again.