The Charles River And A Bit Of Nostalgia

I’m in Cambridge, MA to spend a couple of days with the Boston Techstars crew and this morning I went for a run around the Charles River before a full day of meetings. I wasn’t on my run for very long before my thoughts drifted to my wife Pam and our very first date.

I met Pam in the South End of Boston in October 1994, eighteen years ago this month. It was a beautiful indian summer Sunday morning and I was waiting for a table for breakfast at Mildred’s, my favorite corner bistro. She walked in with a girlfriend and they sat down on the bench to wait with me where we chatted for a minute. When my friend Jib (the owner of Mildred’s) told me my table was ready, something moved me to ask her if they wanted to share a table for breakfast. Luckily for me, she jumped up and said yes before her girlfriend had a chance to answer. We spent the next couple of hours having the slowest breakfast in history. When we couldn’t eat any more muffins or drink any more coffee, I asked for her phone number and we both left.

I felt like I had been struck by lightning. When I had dinner with my family that night, I told them that I met my future wife that day which was met with the usual family banter around my dating habits. When I woke up, I resisted the temptation to call her immediately. I went to work and spent the next few hours thinking about how long I needed to wait to call her without seeming too anxious. I lasted until just after lunch when I couldn’t wait a minute longer. My heart pounded when she answered and after some small talk I asked her if she could take the afternoon off and go roller blading (it was 1994, that’s what we did back then) around the Charles River. To my amazement, she said she’d love to and gave me her address to meet her.

We set off on our blades and made our way around the entire river – over to Harvard, past MIT, around the Museum of Science past the Hatch Shell and back towards the Back Bay and South End. We agreed to go home and change and met at the Elliot Lounge for drinks and sushi. It was as magical a first date as there’s ever been.

It’s been a long time since I made my way around the Charles River and as I ran this morning, I was overwhelmed by how strong the memory of my first date with Pam still is and how grateful I am that fate brought us together for a minute on that Sunday morning at Mildred’s. The flame burns brighter than ever and I love her more every day of my life.

Oh, there’s one more thing to add about our first date. To this day, she loves to tell everyone that I had spandex shorts on that day we went rollerblading. What can I say sweetie except that the strategy seemed to have worked…

Showing 2 comments
  • Pamela Solon

    I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have your love, spandex and all.

  • Brad Feld (@bfeld)

    And the rest of the world is super lucky that the two of you met so we get to enjoy y’all as a couple and your awesome kids!

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