You are one step closer to reading one of the greatest love stories
“Whole woman? Whole woman?” Rachel felt her heart banging
against her chest wall. She felt an unfamiliar rage surge within
her. “So I’m...I’m only whole because I have breasts? Is that what
you’re saying? Is it? Damn you, David! Is that all I mean to you?
You’d feel differently, if it were you...you with testicular cancer
and one or both of your balls had to go.”
— excerpt p.31
Their first time alone, really alone.—
“And they danced. Bathed in the soft glow of a half moon, they
danced. David Joe held Jessie Marie as close as he knew how—as
close as he dared, and they danced. He held her so close he felt their
hearts beating in unison like a lovers’ duet, and they danced. They
danced to every song that followed; until the battery in the small
transistor radio grew weak, and the melodic sounds of The Platters
faded. And even after the radio fell silent, and the night grew old,
An unsettled economy, acts of terror, the winds of war. What the world really needs is a love story - a powerful love story - that embraces heart and soul long after the story has been told.
Once upon a time, it was 1955. Eisenhower (`Ike') was President; a stamp cost three cents; gas was twenty-three; Popsicles came two to a package; Elvis was twenty, and against all odds, young David Joe Fallon, Jr. and Jessie Marie Taylor were in love. The End.
And the story may well have ended there, were it not for what happened to those two. It has been said, few younger than twenty or so could possibly know true love.
That may be true for most, but not for Jessie Marie and David Joe, both of whom lived in Rosedaleâ€”a small, north-central Texas townâ€”back in the 1950s. First taken with each other at age nine, these love-struck youngsters grew to profess a love so deep, in their hearts and minds it transcended life itself.
And despite Cyrus Ecclesiastes Taylor's success in keeping his daughter and David Joe apart, there was never any doubt these two lived and breathed each other. Not much else mattered to them. Taylor's actions, born of his intense hatred for David Joe's father, only steeled the young lovers' vows to love and cherish each other forever.
Theirs was a love cloaked with an aura of destiny; imbued with an air of inevitability. Most everyone in Rosedale knew that to be fact. What they sacrificed and suffered, to nurture their uncommon love, accounts for their indelible place in the hearts of all who know their story.
And there could only have been one Jessie Marie and David Joe. Townsfolk, who were alive then, still speak of them in mythical tones. No true love story can rightly be told without the mention of their names, and the storybook lives they shared.
Despite the joy and heartbreak that was and is their story, David Joe and Jessie Marie live on. And nearly fifty years later, the world beyond their part of Texas may never have known of, and been inspired by them, except for unforeseen events in Rachel Marin's life, half a country and nearly half a century away, in southern California.
September 11, 2000
Rachel Marin, a Texas-born beauty, and Boston University grad, had always dreamed of being a writer. Even when she served the President as Assistant, Deputy White House Press Secretary, she never surrendered her dream.
At thirty-eight, she was just divorced and clawing her way up from the basement of her life. Her heart was broken; her dreams shattered. On a cool September morning, she packed her life away into every corner of her vintage '65 Mustang and left California.
Along the way to an uncertain destination, a detour through a small, north-central, Texas town; a 50 year old wedding dress in a quaint dress shop, and a chance telling of a five decades-old love story, opens a magical door. The result is a fateful marriage of past and future.
The legendary love story of David Joe Fallon, Jr. and Jessie Marie Taylor inspires another story—one Rachel could never have dreamed. She finds herself helping to write a final chapter no one could have imagined.