Woodrow Wilson Class of 1959

Photography Courtesy of Linda Neeley.

When Linda met Dallas in junior English class at Woodrow Wilson High School, his shoes were the first thing she noticed. “He had the sexiest shoes I’d ever seen,” Linda says. “They were real pointed toes. My daddy never wore shoes like that.” From that first look, she started plotting ways to spend more time with him. During summer vacation, all her classmates congregated at Vickery Park pool. One day, she told her girlfriends to leave without her so she could ask Dallas for a ride home.

“I told him, ‘I can’t believe this. My friends went off and left me,’” Linda says. “Years later, he said, ‘What would you have done if I didn’t give you a ride home?’ I wasn’t worried. I figured he would.”

The couple dated steady all through senior year, but they agreed to see other people when they graduated and went to college. Dallas attended the University of Texas, and Linda enrolled at what is now the University of Texas at Arlington. The pair reconnected when they returned home for the summer after their first year.

“We hadn’t met anyone else as wonderful…and no one else wore those shoes like he did,” Linda says.

They married in 1960 and had the first of two children in 1961. Linda and Dallas moved across the country — first to St. Louis, then to Memphis, Miami and New York City — for Dallas’ job selling shoes. The business was in his blood. His father worked as a shoe salesman and got Dallas a job selling footwear as a high-schooler.

The first Christmas after the couple started dating, Dallas wanted to use his shoe sale money to buy Linda a silver necklace with a dangling heart charm, complete with a diamond in the center. When Dallas told his father about his plan, his dad said, “You’re not going to spend your hard-earned money on some girl you’re never going to see again.” Dallas bought the necklace anyway, and Linda still wears it to this day.

Their advice: Marriage is forever. Just stick it out. You may have arguments and disagreements, but it always gets better.

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