Great Lovers I have Known—James “Cecil” Simons
After Cecil broke up with Jan, or more accurately, after Jan ran away with someone else, life went on in a rather normal fashion. At the end of the year, we both graduated. I moved to
and I can’t remember what
Cecil did. After I lived in Salt
Lake for a year, I had to move and
find new roommates, so Cecil joined me again as a roommate. Since I was, by this time well over 30 and
Cecil was not much younger, finding a wife became the first order of business
for both of us. Salt
Cecil’s first real girlfriend was a beautiful Danish immigrant and convert named Mona Gadd. Mona was one of the spunkiest girls I have ever known. Before she dated Cecil she went out with a fellow in our ward named Jim (I don’t remember his last name). Jim was—or at least, he claimed to be—a reformed, i.e. ex-drug addict. I was Jim’s home teacher, and I must confess to being a bit skeptical about the “reformed” in his title. For one thing, he had the most volatile temper of anyone I have ever known well. Whenever I was with him, I felt that I had to weigh ever word I said, because it didn’t take much to set him off. He was also a determined, almost violent, misogynist. Whenever girl spoke in Church, he would stand up and storm out of the chapel, slamming the door as he left. Normally, he would come back in as soon as the girl had finished speaking only to repeat the performance as soon as another girl began speaking. Since our congregation consisted of about 3 times as many girls as guys, most of our speakers in Church were girls, so Jim spent a good deal of time storming out of the meetings.
Jim was nearly always out of work because as soon as an employer would ask him to do something he didn’t want to do, or if they would ask him to do something that he felt could, and should, be done in a different way, he would simply explode in anger. Since this almost always occurred in the first day or two of a new job, he spent more time looking for work than working. He was always complaining to me in my home teaching visits, that he felt that
employers didn’t sufficiently value men who didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs,
which, as far as I could tell, were about his only qualifications for any job,
and, as I mentioned, I was personally a little skeptical about those. One time, just before Mother’s Day, I was
driving several people I home taught to some kind of a ward activity. I mentioned that I was wondering what to get
my mother for Mother’s day. The other
people in the car either made suggestions or told what they were going to get
their mothers. When it was Jim’s turn,
he simply muttered vehemently, “I wouldn’t get my mother anything. I hate my mother. I hate her even more than I hate my
father.” Needless to say, there was a
very embarrassing pause, since none of the rest of us knew how to respond to
Well anyway, Jim asked Mona Gadd out on a date. After either one or two dates, (I rather think it was on the first date) Jim asked Mona to marry him. If it had been me, knowing Jim’s temper, I would have said, “Sure, anything you want. You bet, I’m all for it—the sooner the better, just not tonight.” Then when I got home I would have called him up and said I’d changed my mind and called the police and had a restraining order issued against him. Mona did none of those things. She just laughed. “Get serious”, she said. “You don’t know me well enough to marry me.”
As Jim later explained to me, he had been serious and he was plenty mad, but, he said, since he really liked Mona, he had restrained himself and didn’t hit her.
Anyway, Mona was Cecil’s first girlfriend after we moved into together. At first, he was really excited about the relationship, but she responded positively and I think that put him on his guard. After about 10 or eleven dates, he broke up with her. Neither seemed too heartbroken over the split, however, so maybe it was for the best that they didn’t pursue it further.
After the breakup with Mona, Cecil dated a number of girls, but it became pretty clear that there was a bit of a pattern. If the girl started to show interest after a few dates, Cecil would lose interest. Finally, about mid-year he began dating a really cute girl named Linda. She was excited and, surprisingly, so was he. She was cute, religious, and ambitious—the perfect match. She was studying to be a school teacher at the U and had only a semester left before student teaching. However, at the beginning of the 2nd semester she was given a full-time job teaching, in spite of the fact that she had not completed her studies. Apparently, a teacher had quit at the semester and in a sort of desperation, they had offered Linda the job with the promise that she could be hired on a permanent basis if she completed most of her remaining school work during the summer. Her experience teaching was to count as student teaching because another teacher would monitor her work.
Suddenly, Linda’s relationship with Cecil took a decided back seat to her work in school. Any dating during the week was completely out and even on some weekends she said she was too busy preparing her classes to date, even once. Cecil, who was a school psychologist, and operated very much “by the clock”, had little understanding or sympathy for her plight. He felt that there was no reason that Linda could not, like himself, finish all her work at school—or at least, after an hour of so of homework. Well, the upshot was that Cecil decided that Linda was not showing enough commitment to their relationship and he broke the engagement.
By this time I was dating Shauna Bowman, who, later that summer, I would marry. Cecil in the meantime, was following in his old pattern. But toward the end of the school year, as Linda’s school schedule became less demanding, Cecil started dating her again. She, however, had become decidedly cool toward Cecil. To fill in the times when Linda would not date him (which was most of the times), Cecil began dating Shauna’s roommate Winnie. Winnie was a very attractive girl made more so by the fact that she sounded exactly, and acted much, like “Our Miss Brooks” (Eve Arden). The problem was that Cecil would use his dates with Winnie as sounding boards for advice on how to win Linda back. Finally, Winnie became frustrated by this and simply dropped him. Predictably, at that point, Cecil decided that it was really Winnie that he liked, even better than Linda.
I wish I could report how Cecil finally wooed and won his bride, but I can’t. All I know is that about a year after I was married, he showed up with her at out house. It turns out that he had used his summer vacation to go to
Uruguay. There he had met, wooed, and married his
wife, Trixie. When we knew them, Trixie
made the perfect wife for Cecil because she could hardly speak any English, but
knew enough of it to know when to laugh at his jokes.
Recently, I spoke with Cecil, who lives and works in
and he assures me that Trixie now speaks very good English. He didn’t say whether she still laughs at his
jokes. As a footnote, his oldest son
served at the same time as our second from the youngest (Austen) in Uruguay,
where Cecil had served and found a wife after many a false start.