Passive Echoes

October 13, 1971 - "The Proposal"



Memorable Music: Betcha By Golly, Wow

Exactly one month after their reuniting, on October 13, 1971, Marcia and Larry became officially engaged. Because of her deep love for Larry, Marcia sacrificed it all; a most promising career, friends except for a few very dear ones such as Marilyn Griffith, Benjamin "Ben" Bradham, and Kay Lowe. And even to some extent family if they attempted to interfere. Fortunately this did not occur.


Early on a brisk October morning, a Wednesday, during a break from an orchestrating session, I got down on one knee and observed Marcia as she slept peacefully on a couch in my softly lit den (Photo above). She looked so beautiful. This was our weekly custom. Marcia would complete her homework and fall asleep as I added final touches to compositions prior to Dr. Ward's Wednesday afternoon composition class.

After placing a blanket over her, I gently kissed her on her forehead and unintentionally awakened her. I was already on one knee, so I seized the moment and asked Marcia if she would marry me. She smiled and without a moment of hesitation said, "Of course I will".

Thinking that she was not fully alert, I told her to go back to sleep while I finished my writing session. I would awaken her in a few hours to return her to the dorm and we would discuss what I had asked her at that time. Around four o'clock that morning, I awakened her again and asked if she remembered what I had asked.

She stated, 'I was fully aware of your proposal and was sincere in my response.' With her lovely hands around my face she drew me close to her and looked me in the eyes and said: 'Larry Binns, I would consider it an honor to be your wife. I so deeply love you.'

This was one month to the day of our first date that fall, October 13, 1971, a day that we observe as the true anniversary of our love and total commitment to each other.

Several days after Marcia accepted my proposal of marriage she wanted to have another very serious talk with me at two o’clock one morning. I had always placed her high on a pedestal and spoke of her in elevated terms. She wanted to be totally honest with me about everything that had ever transpired in her life before and after we met. This was a complete and full disclosure. Her divulging intimate details of her life prompted me to do the same, and I had far more to divulge.

We wept together on this occasion because both of us had made unwise decisions and choices that impacted our lives. Nevertheless, it made no difference whatsoever in how we felt about each other, but cleared the air and enabled us to put the past completely behind us. This initiated a pattern of honesty and openness that has permeated and sustained our marriage.

Also, my willingness to display outwardly empathy and compassion, shedding tears with her, was the utmost display of masculinity in her eyes. After all, the greatest man who ever lived and the scale by which all men are judged, our Lord Jesus, wept openly during times of great distress and sorrow. Marcia confided to me that she could never give her heart completely to any man who was unwilling to display such emotions with her and give way to tears at appropriate times.

Marcia's  trusting me with her life history and story only reinforced my image of her as a true lady, one who exhibited exceptional courage, honesty, and integrity. As I gently kissed away each tear I explained to her that it was my belief that standards of beauty and perfection in our imperfect society are flawed by that very stain of imperfection, and she was no exception.

I did not believe in God at that time, but I did believe in the principles and qualities of honesty, integrity, truthfulness, fairness, and forgiveness, qualities that she possessed abundantly. She was still in my eyes the epitome of femininity and flawless in her humanity.

I also blamed myself for some of the mistakes that we both made because of my obstinancy and arrogance. There were so many choices that she made that I could have protected and prevented her from making if I had done what she wrote to her mother concerning me in 1968, that I would 'take care of her'. 
This was a promise that I made to her prior to her arrival at NCSA. Marcia was a very young and a naïve fifteen year-old girl three hundred miles away from the protective care of her mother's supervision. She was vulnerable and I had expressed my deep concerns for her on our first date.
This occurred when several males were acting effeminate and she did not realize that they were gay. It was not until I explained why they were acting in the manner that they were that she understood. She had 'heard of' homosexuality but had never observed openly gay people before.
I felt equally responsible for most of her difficulties and decision-making during the fall of 1970 through the summer of 1971. She was under duress and I was the direct cause of most of her pain. She reached out countless times to me and I rejected and pushed her aside due to my own bitterness and foolish pride. Many decisions that she made were a direct result of my neglect, callousness, inattention and unloving actions."
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