When Your True Lover Comes Your Way (by JC)

Summary: It’s another Wednesday, another “western of the week” for a young actor still looking for his big break.  But a man’s luck can change when he least expects it. (A Jack Richards story for Valentine’s Day)

Rating:  G   713 words

Jack Richards Series:
Right is the Third Left
When Your True Lover Comes Your Way
There Is A Season
Return to Grace

When Your True Lover Comes Your Way

It was during a publicity shoot in 1957, a Wednesday in August, when he first saw her.   Jack Richards was a struggling actor with a guest role on a yet another nondescript television western, his bread and butter in those days.  He averaged at least one a week, and this one was par for the course except for the photographer’s assistant, a petite honey-blonde with ebony eyes and a winsome smile, who suddenly made the tedious afternoon much more interesting.   Seizing the first opportunity, he introduced himself and they chatted between shots.  Her name was Liz Kelley, a UCLA graduate and army brat originally from South Carolina who spent her teenage years at Fort Irwin near San Bernardino.  She was articulate, charming and down-to-earth, and it struck him that here was a girl with brains who acted as though she had no idea how pretty she was.  Or perhaps she did know, and maybe she was just smart enough not to show it. In either case, she was the kind of girl who had always intrigued him. When he finally had a chance to ask her out afterwards, she thanked him politely and told him she didn’t date actors.  She smiled and wished him good luck as she said goodbye.

He couldn’t let her go that easily though, and she eventually changed her mind.  Jack wasn’t sure if she really wanted to go out with him or if she just gave in to his persistence out of sheer exhaustion, but it didn’t matter to him as long as she said yes.  All he needed was a chance to prove what he already knew.  They had a quiet dinner and went dancing afterwards.

The band was playing one of his favorite songs as he led her onto the dance floor and took her in his arms for the very first time.  It was no surprise to him how well she seemed to fit there.

It’s cherry pink and apple blossom white
When your true lover comes your way
It’s cherry pink and apple blossom white
The poets say.  

The story goes that once a cherry tree
Beside an apple tree did grow
And there a boy once met his bride-to-be
Long, long ago…

Her hair smelled like the honeysuckle that grew outside his bedroom window back home. And home was what she felt like to him.

The boy looked into her eyes
It was a sight to enthrall
The breezes joined in their sighs
The blossoms started to fall
And as they gently caressed
The lovers looked up to find
The branches of the two trees
Were intertwined…

Afterwards, he kissed her, and he knew then that she knew, too.

It was a Wednesday.


Jack and Liz were married on Valentine’s Day, 1958, in a little church in Encino.  She wore white silk taffeta and Chantilly lace and the pearls he had given her on Christmas Eve.  He saw his future in her eyes and promised to love, honor and cherish her until death.

Sara Kathleen Richards entered the world kicking and screaming in the wee small hours of December 30, 1959, all seven pounds, five and one-quarter ounces of her.  Later, in the quiet of the hospital room where his exhausted wife lay sleeping, his daughter gave no indication of the temper she displayed upon her arrival as he held her.  She stared up at him with dark eyes that almost seemed to recognize him.

“Yes, I’m your daddy,” Jack whispered, smiling down at her. “You know that, don’t you?”

He brushed his little finger against her tiny fist, and she gripped it, wrapping him instantly and irrevocably around hers.  Liz stirred in the bed; he glanced over at her but she did not awaken.  Turning his attention back to the pink and white bundle in his arms, his gaze fell on the newspaper lying on the table next to him, and he grinned when he noticed the date under the masthead.

Lucky Wednesdays were getting to be a habit.

It’s cherry pink and apple blossom white
When you’re in love.


“Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” — 1955; music by Louiguy, original French lyrics by Jacques Larue translated by Mack David.



Tags:  Jack Richards

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Author: JC

I've been writing Bonanza since 2004 when I posted my first story, "Ties That Bind", which introduced a Cartwright daughter. In addition to that series and another loosely based on the life of Pernell Roberts, I've written everything from drama to comedy, from poetry to parody, most of which you will find here in the Brand library. I enjoy porch swings, logic puzzles, old movies, crisp fall mornings, family game nights, and PIE. Dogs and children seem to like me (but they forget to leave reviews, hint, hint). If you like my stories, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for reading! #CartwrightsForever #Moo

12 thoughts on “When Your True Lover Comes Your Way (by JC)

  1. What a wonderfully romantic story. Jack’s persistence paid off and now he’s under the spell of two lovely gals.

  2. I enjoyed this tender story very much. I have read only one other Jack Richard story and would like to find more. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

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