The Most Important Guest

In 1971, Bob Bibby was 17 years old, drunk, and on his way home from a basketball game when he slipped on a patch of ice and crashed onto the sidewalk. A 15-year-old girl, who was in front of her house talking with friends, witnessed the fall. She wasn't impressed with him: "I was afraid of him and his friends." But she liked his Mustang convertible. They began to see each other in group settings, but when Marlene took him to meet her parents, they said no more dating unless Bob started going to church. So Bob began attending church regularly. Eventually, the couple became high school sweethearts.

Bob's mother, who was 40 at the time of his birth, lost a two-year battle with cancer when he was 17. His father died before he was born. Bob craved a stable family life and was eager to marry. He and Marlene wed when he was 20 and she was only 18.

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