Salvador Lopez remembers his future wife Lisa giving him her phone number when they met as students at J.L. Long Middle School. When he never called, he told Lisa he lost it.
Whether he actually lost it or was saving face with a convenient excuse, Lisa may have harbored hard feelings. When they reconnected during Salvador’s senior year at Woodrow Wilson High School, he had to work to get back into her good graces.
“I wasn’t attracted to him at first,” Lisa says. “They put him in two of my classes, and he kept bugging me. He’d want to walk me from class to class. He would tell me I was pretty. In math, he would give me the answers.”
The students could not have been more different. Salvador was a member of ROTC, the soccer team and multiple clubs. He was voted Mr. Wildcat his senior year. Lisa just wanted to go to school. But Salvador’s persistence paid off, and Lisa agreed to give him another chance.
“We went for a ride in his car and haven’t been apart since then,” she says.
Just three months before her graduation, Lisa realized she was pregnant and dropped out of school. She delivered their first child, Jessica, in August and enrolled at Woodrow a month later to complete her senior year.
Salvador and Lisa dressed Jessica in a cheerleader’s uniform and took her to all the football games. She got ready with her mom on prom night, and she was in the audience when her mom received her high school diploma in 1991.
“She was the Wildcat baby,” Lisa says. “She got to experience all those things with us.”