Here is a picture of our latest visitors here in Oklahoma City. Kevin and Jean Gore from Walkden, Greater Manchester, England. They visited and stayed with us for two evenings and about two days.
I first come to know the Gores in 1998 as I was preparing to leave for my mission to the UK. The Bishop from the Hazelton Ward, Paul Tateoka, sent word through his brother in my ward, Ted Tateoka, that I needed to call this couple from the UK.
The Gores were staying with one of the missionaries who had brought them into the church, who lived 5 miles or so down the road from me. I called the Meacham home and had a nice visit with Kevin for about 30 minutes or so. I obviously had my mission call, but I do not recall knowing that they lived in my mission. Kevin knew I was in the mission so he told me a few interesting things and we hung up the phone.
I admit I completely forgot about this conversation with Kevin Gore until my first Sunday serving in the Eccles Ward (now Swinton) of the Manchester England Stake. I stood there shaking hands with members and introducing myself when a man asked if I was Elder Ross from Hazelton, Idaho. I apparently looked dumbfounded so he informed me that I had spoken with him on the phone before my mission. Granted, this was the first time I laid eyes on him. Well, that started a relationship that has now come down through the years. I served in the Eccles Ward for about 6 months, although since there were two sets of missionaries, me and my companion had the other half of the ward.
The Gores were probably one of the closest families I had in that ward, although there were a couple. Before we left late in 1999, Kevin and Jean Gore treated all four of the missionaries to a very nice roasted duck dinner.
Time has a way of marching on, and so it has done with this friendship. Brad Hales, Amy Hales, and I visited the Gores again in the summer of 2003 when we went to England for a convert baptism of a lady who Elder Hales and I had once taught (in Runcorn Ward). I think we spent two evenings with them at that time, although our time was limited because they were working and we had other people in the area we also visited, but Jean made us a roasted duck dinner again! We did not request it, but she made it, and it was fabulous. We again enjoyed our time with them, although limited.
The Gores were kind enough to invite us to the wedding of their son, Ian, in Springville, Utah in 2004. Brad Hales and I visited, partook of the food (no roasted duck!), and enjoyed a good evening with our British friends. The Gores came to visit Utah in 2008 again, but we were only able to enjoy a light dinner at Olive Garden together (again, no duck, only in England!).
Amanda and I made the trek over the water again in 2008. This time we again spent 2 nights with the Gores in their home on Trinity Crescent. Both in 2003 and 2008 I knew the neighborhood well enough I could still drive to the home without much difficulty. Jean once again made her now famous roasted duck dinner! I honestly think this is the only times I have ever eaten duck in the past decade, if ever in my life (other than what they call duck at the Chinese buffet). The Gores were more than kind in allowing us to stay with them, use their computers, talk family history, and even hosted a little get together of other members of the Swinton Ward I still knew and asked about.
Here we are in 2011, 13 years later after the phone conversation, and the Gores have come to visit us! Sorry, we did not treat them to a roasted duck dinner. It would have been an insult to Jean’s cooking. Their son, Ian, had moved from Springville, Utah to Bentonville, Arkansas. Kevin and Jean wanted to come down to visit the Oklahoma City Temple and, we feign to believe, us. We drove out to Pops Soda Shop in Arcadia. We also ate out at our favorite little Mexican joint and then we treated them to capers and artichoke pasta the night we made them dinner. We played a couple of games of Ticket to Ride and just enjoyed our time together. Thanks for being such great friends and keeping in contact through the years!
When is the next time we will see the Gores? And, the question you all want to know, will there by duck involved?