Paul and Connie are a perfect match
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 10:00 PM
My waving buddies are this week's guests in Around the County. A couple times a week, I see them in their buses and receive a smile and big wave from each. Occasionally, Jim and I see them out and about and have a quick word or two. Used to talk to them some when they'd come into the A&W as they waited on their kids who had gone to the sock hop dance. "It was a Friday night ritual!" I've known them for decades but really don't see them much, so it was grand visiting at their beautiful home not far from me.
Truly, Paul and Connie Mullen Surface are delightful and madly in love even after 45 years of marriage. When I asked them what kept them so close, Connie didn't hesitate to answer, "God is the first thing in our family." They begin each morning with Psalms 91, and pray each evening together before retiring. Paul agreed. He explained that the circumstances of how they met had to be God-oriented because Connie grew-up in Southport below Indianapolis. At age five, Connie lost her father and her mother passed during Connie's senior year. After finishing-up her last semester at Southport HS, she wasn't sure about moving to New Market Indiana to where her brother Steve Mullen was. Yet, here she came via God's suggestion!
Steve had managed the stock yards at the corner of SR 234 and US 231. At that point, he had purchased a downtown store in NM and Connie worked there at the register. Paul passed by and Connie asked who he was. Paul began to notice her and made trips in for food at lunch hour and the like. Less than a year later, the city girl and country boy were man and wife.
I love that Paul and Connie do everything together. They own 120 acres of farmland and rent 630. She's out on a tractor right alongside Paul, their son, Rob, and son-in-law, Brian Bowman. Daughter Amy and daughter-in-law, Mary have supper ready and the house all clean. "It's certainly a family affair." Paul grew-up on a farm and of course Connie had no experience. But, she loves it and they both agree she made the adjustment with grace. Paul said there's not a lot of extra time for fun but they work hard and get it all done, then they ditto it all again the next year. Paul and Connie do go out every Saturday for "date night," usually to Indianapolis to eat.
As per their other job, Paul is two years ahead of Connie, this being his 38th year driving a school bus for South. Paul had planned on this being temporary until something better came along, but Connie racks-up 36 years, too. Add 'em together and that's a whole lot of driving. They both really enjoy the little ones, not so much the junior high kids and then again love watching the high schoolers develop into young adults. Both have second generation and a few third generation riders. That's pretty cool!
Paul also sells really nice used cars early in the year before spring farming begins. They are listed on Craigslist. There are about 25 each year he gets at auctions then enjoys meeting the people buying them. Paul and Connie are certainly busy, busy people, but not so much they don't enjoy their four grandchildren (three from Rob's family and one from Amy's). They love watching all the activities, especially sports, and having the grands over for fun.
Paul and I did some reminiscing about growing-up in Montgomery County. There were such grand times "that this generation will never experience" such as going into Woolworth's Dime Store and sitting down at the counter to a huge breakfast of bacon and eggs.
Deep roots in Montgomery County is one thing I got excited about as we discussed William Moore, of the Waveland Half-Way house fame. He has Vancleaves (most anyone here for a few generations have them) and his great great grandpa Benjamin Surface was a twin. One of the more interesting stories is of his James McMullen who was murdered by Indians in Shelby County, Ky. His wife, Jane Robinson had their son a few hours after the father's death and named him James Robinson McMullen, who came to our county. Irish, Dutch, English, German, reverends, farmers, workers, all help make up Paul's Montgomery County connections.
The Surfaces are new at the computer-world, but have been thankful for the easier to use radios in their buses for the last 20 years. They thanked Mike Mitchell who was on the board when a death-related wreck happened and Connie and kids were caught there for a long time, no one knowing if they were involved.
So, I come to the end of my allotted words. Thus, I'll just say these two are fine folks and that I just smile for a long time after getting my wave. Thanks P & C for letting me interview you for this week's ATC and for such wonderful hospitality in your beautiful home.