The moment Billie Price laid eyes on Doyle Thompson in 1951, he took her breath away.
The 19-year-old was with her friend walking around Kokomo’s square when she spotted a young man across the street leaning against a lamppost next to his 1948 maroon Pontiac, hanging out with his friends.
“I said to my friend, ‘I’m gonna marry that man,’” Billie said. “That’s the best looking man I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Her friend advised her against getting involved with 18-year-old Doyle. She said that he hung out with the wrong crowd.
Billie didn’t care. Occasionally she’d see Doyle at drive-ins while they were each on dates with other people. Sometimes they would catch each other’s eye.
“I’d look and there he’d be, and my heart would be pounding,” Billie said.
Doyle liked Billie too, even though they had never spoken. He decided to put his nerves aside when he took a nonchalant stroll through Woolworths, where he knew Billie worked. He said hello, and they talked for a couple minutes.
“I thought she was hot,” Doyle said.
He was there again one night at Woolworths, leaning against a lamppost in the rain by his car when Billie got off work.
“He said, ‘Do you need a ride home,’ and I said, ‘Oh yes,’” Billie said. “He took me home, asked me out, and the rest is history.”
Together they went to movies at Wolfcales Drive-In, visited Highland Park, and talked and smooched at The Flowing Well on Albright Road. Billie was pretty impressed with her boyfriend.
“He had a car and a job, he was very polite, and he kissed out of this world,” Billie said. “I knew that’s who I wanted for the rest of my life.”