DALLAS — Jim West is a Sooner through and through. And when he met a young woman from Louisiana he decided the Texas-OU game at the Cotton Bowl would make a pretty good first date.
Fifty-five years of wedded bliss later, he thinks it was a pretty good idea.
"Literally, it was the Cotton Bowl," Carolyn West, 83, said of their first date back in 1964.
"That's the first day of our acquaintance," said 91-year-old Jim West.
"I was rooting for the Longhorns," Carolyn joked, "just because he was rooting for the Sooners, just to play with him. I'm glad to see them (the Longhorns) get beat any time now."
It was obviously a successful first date, although Jim doesn't remember a lot of details about the game.
"Nothing," he laughed. "I didn't even remember that we lost."
Yes, the Sooners lost that game. But Jim definitely won.
Jim and Carolyn married just three months later. More than five decades later, they have five children, 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
And on Saturday they'll celebrate the first date that started it all, by going back to the game for just the third time in their lives.
"It's going to be special," Carolyn said. "It will always be special."
Special because not only did Jim choose a good location for their first date, he says the timing was right, too. He'd been through a painful divorce and says Carolyn saved him.
"She was joyful and really lifted me up and it's all good memories," he said.
"I just remember that he was so kind and thoughtful and just a really nice guy," Carolyn said. "I'd never met anybody quite that considerate."
Oh, and Jim says she was a knockout too.
"She was vivacious and she was easy to talk to and put me at ease. And she was curvaceous too. So I thought it was a very nice situation."
"You're kind of grossing out your grandkids over here," I told him as their daughter and three of their grandchildren groaned and laughed while listening to the interview.
So, if you're at the Red River rivalry game on Saturday, remember it's also a good place for a love connection. And if you need proof just look for the 91-year-old guy in Section 5 with the curvaceous date by his side.
"I may never live that down," Jim laughed.
"You never will," his bride said, laughing right along with him.
More on the Red River Showdown:
- Red River Showdown: The history behind the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry
- Oklahoma Sooner opens Longhorn Icehouse on Texas-OU weekend in Dallas
- This Texas player could accomplish something against Oklahoma this weekend no other Longhorn has
- Be prepared for Texas-sized Red River Showdown ticket prices
- Life Hack: How to save money at the State Fair of Texas