It all started in 5th grade at Ghent Elementary School in New Bern. Bob Tyson looked across the playground and fell in love with Becky Rouse.
That was in 1952. Fifty-five years later, Bob got his girl after three marriages for Bob and two marriages for Becky.
When Becky moved to New Bern from Phoenix, she was not an ordinary girl in Bob’s eyes. She didn't talk like a local girl; she had a voice like Tinkerbell. Plus, she spoke to boys and could beat most of them in a game of marbles. Bob was immediately smitten and rode his bicycle to her house after school with a bouquet of roses and lollipops. They sat on her front steps and talked for hours. They started spending more time together, doing what kids did in New Bern back then – they poached duck eggs from their secret place, swam in the river, caught fireflies, and played outside until dark.
By 6th grade, Becky and her family moved to a different neighborhood, too far for Bob to ride his bike. Bob persuaded his mother to drive him to Becky's house to pick her up - still carrying a bouquet of roses. Mom would drive them to The Tyson Family River House at the end of Broad Creek Road on Rowland Point. Here they enjoyed rafting, fishing, and swimming, where he gave Becky her first kiss from a boy…in secrecy under an overturned life raft in the Neuse River. Bob and Becky continued to hang out throughout middle school.
But when they hit high school, Bob will tell you that Becky stepped out of his league. She liked older boys with fast cars! And alas, he only had his bicycle. Becky was a drag car racer and a cheerleader. Bob pursued his love of music in the high school band.
Time marched on. Becky married in 1959, worked in family businesses, then in 1962, opened a movie theatre on Pollock Street (where Baxter’s is now) with her husband. Becky laughs as she tells how she went into labor with her first child working at the concession stand at the movie theater.
Both went to college and married other people. Bob's career took him to Darlington, SC, as the County Music Director, and later, he became the principal of an elementary school in Greer, SC. Becky became a Registered Nurse.
Fast Forward 20 years. Bob comes back to New Bern as a single man to visit Mom. Becky is living here and is also single but with three children. Becky has big plans to move to Florida. When Bob called her for a date – the answer was, “Yes.” They met at Annabel’s for lunch, but she talked so much about her upcoming move to Florida that he never got a chance to tell her his feelings for her.
Fast forward another 20 years, and it is time for the New Bern High School 40th Reunion. Bob goes with his buddies to the family river house and plans the 40th Reunion. Bob is appointed the chairman. Now that he is single again, he wants to find Becky. He calls Becky's ex-husband's new wife – who was also a classmate. She puts them in touch. And eureka! Becky agreed to be Bob's date to the 40th High School Reunion. But Becky warns Bob that she has a “tall, dark, and handsome“ boyfriend (Bob's description ) back in Florida. The relationship seems like a dead end, but Bob keeps in touch and visits Becky in Florida.
Becky gets two engagement rings in one month! One from “tall, dark, and handsome” and the equally handsome and loyal Bob Tyson. But Becky didn't want to get married. “Tall, dark, and handsome” got impatient, frustrated, tired of waiting, and moved on. Bob wins out! But nothing is easy.
Becky moved back to New Bern, and they lived together at Queens Point. Here they settle down and decide to get married. They want to announce the wedding plans to their blended family and finally get all their children together for Christmas dinner. But Becky's son unknowingly hijacked the dinner with his engagement announcement! Bob and Becky are on the back burner again.
A couple more years pass, and grandbabies are born. Becky is in South Carolina, helping with a newborn. Bob calls from New Bern and asks, “When are you coming home? Want to get married this Thursday?”
YES! She says yes. They meet in Greenville, SC. Bob asked his minister, who had married him once before, to perform the ceremony again! Everything is set. Becky is in Greenville, ready. But one more kink in the plans. The morning of the wedding, Becky announces she cannot marry Bob that day. The cap of her front tooth fell off! But Bob, being his ever-resourceful self, found a dentist that morning who fixed the tooth while driving to the wedding. Then, at the minister’s home, one of the lenses of her glasses fell out just before the ceremony. Bob asks Becky, “What else can fall off?” The ceremony proceeds, stopping once for Bob to stop sobbing and regain his composure. Success at last! They are 65 years old and happily married after 55 years of searching for their one true love.
And the rest is romantic history. Bob and Becky moved to Fairfield Harbour when Becky found a great house online. It met all the criteria they wanted. It was move-in ready, the perfect size, and close to Rowland Point, where the Tyson family house they love is close by.
Look for Bob Tyson at The Pointe Restaurant – he’ll be the guy playing his saxophone in the Blue Moon Jazz Band. And you‘ll find Becky there, too, cheering on her man!
Bob Tyson and Blue Moon Jazz's following dates at the Pointe Restaurant are August 13th, September 23rd, October 14th., and November 18th.