Monday, September 28, 2009

March 7, 1990

My night began in class at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Institute building in San Luis Obispo, CA off of California Blvd. After class, as usual, the building becomes a bit of a social gathering place. My best friend and I were going to run home and change and then go tanning(aka cancer beds). But first I got a little side tracked with this cute guy recently off his mission. We had been introduced at a Valentine’s Day dance a few weeks before and hit it off. This night he brought his little brother, I think to get the seal of approval before asking me out. So we gabbed, and I talked entirely too much about my grandparents, but in hindsight I wonder how much Heavenly Father touched me with those vocal thoughts. It was going to be their 49th wedding anniversary in just a few days and so the parents were supposed to be off having a celebration dinner out at Morro Bay with them and telling them our surprise, that the following year, their 50th, we were going to throw them a REAL wedding. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t really get a big wedding and married really young. So, my aunt and I had agreed to help sew her a real wedding dress to her liking. So, my thoughts revolved around all the excitement of planning this, weddings are so much fun.

So, Carrie and I finally head off and she follows me to my house. Usually if I’m by myself I take the long route home and drive passed my dad’s baseball card shop on Santa Barbara St.. The old shop on Nipomo had been broken into in the past and so I made a habit of peeking through the windows as I drive by in this bigger location. But this time I turned onto our street, Johnson Ave., right off of California Blvd. and went straight to our house. When I pulled up I knew something was wrong. This was long before cell phones so I was the last to hear anything. I didn’t even have my radio on in the car, strange? Protection? I saw several cars I didn’t recognize, my parents, my aunt & uncles, and other family relatives. No reason for everyone to be at our house. Walking up the driveway really scared me. My uncle was outside and he was not expected to be there, my parents weren’t home, and my first thoughts came to something happened to Ally(my sister). I wondered if she was hurt or burnt the kitchen down. He met me at the steps with Carrie behind me and told me something bad had happened and I broke down, I didn’t know why, I just knew this wasn’t real. But I finally heard the words, “Grandpa was killed. We think he was shot to death, we don’t know.” As it turns out, someone had taken a baseball bat to the back of his head and from the front it apparently looked like he had been shot point blank. This was at least what was explained to me. My world was spinning.

As the pieces all start to come together and family starts leaving and giving us our space. My dad was still down at the police station as far as I know. And my sister seemed to cycle between wanting to be by herself and wanting to be with everyone she loved around her. We all kind of did that, walking around dazed. Carrie stayed with me, and she called her dad who was my Bishop, to come and give me a blessing. My family gathered around, and I do believe 1 or 2 members received blessings, but they are not members of the church and didn’t understand the comfort it would bring. I do know some were though, they do believe in God and are comforted by their own beliefs. Carrie and her dad left.

I barely came back into the house from seeing them go, hugs and appreciation for their support and love, when my phone rang. My line. I ran in, please no more bad news, but it was that cute return missionary. He called and stuttered some words out that he finally got the courage up to call and ask me out. I guess I passed his little brother’s inspection. I told him what happened and I wasn’t turning him down, just I didn’t know WHEN I could. He thought I was joking at first, a very weird and strange, twisted joke. When he finally understood and tuned into CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and saw that it had already made the news he was ready to rush over just then. It was late so I told him I’d call him the next day. I think he beat me to it though.

We talked a lot on the phone for the next few days, and I know he came over. Neither of us even remember if he came to the funeral, but I do remember him coming over for a family dinner the day after, that was our first kiss. The Relief Society Sisters put together the funeral and open house, and even though my grandpa was not a member of the church, a member dedicated his grave. The Church members have a very positive influence on my family even though none have joined. SO many people, strangers even, brought us homemade comfort foods and thoughtful sympathies. Then my dad left town for a baseball tournament, I don’t think he participated, he was in no way up for that, but to get away from the media blitz. Being 3rd generation SLO natives, you can’t run into the post office without seeing someone you know that wants to talk about it. The night he left, a neighbor called and asked us if we knew who was parked in the Volkswagen Bug across from our house, they had been there for a long time just watching our house. We didn’t have a clue. But my mom and I remembered that someone was pulled over and stopped pulling away from the baseball card shop stealing some yellow police tape. We were scared, Todd called just then, and he was at our house in no time with clothes for a few days and to make sure the 3 of us were safe. It was the same car as the one that stole the police tape, but supposedly he was visiting a friend in the apartments across from our house and waiting for his friend to get there. (I still question WHO this person was and what their ties were, seems like an awful big coincidence.)

From that point on, the cute return missionary and I were pretty much inseparable. If he could survive my crazy family and the drama, he was pretty much in. He proposed to me on the 4th of July, and we were married in January. Family drama, just got crazier for a while, but with each other and our strong testimonies in the gospel we managed to get through it all and I believe stronger people.

The homicide of Frank Gove is still unsolved. I have always believed that someone, somewhere, knows something. Rumors? ANY kind of tidbit could finally bring closure to the murder of a husband, a father, grandpa, a friend, and community “Pops”.

Frank has done so much for the community. I could go on and on, and maybe I’ll fill in another post how he touched so many lives. He didn’t deserve this, we didn’t deserve this.

2 Corinthians 1:4
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Ps. 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me.

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