Bill and Julie got married on Valentine’s Day in 1943, 70 years ago today. He was a GI who had managed to wangle a weekend pass to marry his childhood sweetheart. From the get-go,their marriage was an improv.
“We didn’t have a minyan, the minimum of ten people required for a Jewish wedding,” Julie recalls. ”So his brother went to the local movie theater and rousted ten guys out of the balcony and promised them dinner if they’d come. For years afterward, perfect strangers would come up to us on the street and say,‘Hey, I was at your wedding!’”
Today, Bill is 95, Julie will be 90, and they’re still in love.
“He’s the sweetest guy in the world,” says Juliet, still active in her backyard garden in San Diego, California.
“She makes me laugh,” says Bill, who goes to the gym twice a week and occasionally lectures on the history of science at the University of California, San Diego.
They retired to San Diego after living many years in Akron, Ohio, where he was a research chemist at Goodyear and she a sociology professor at Akron University and Kent State.
The secret of their long and happy marriage? Improvisation.
“We make up games,” says Julie. “We play with each other. Having fun is what keeps us happy.”
She blushes that the games are “too silly” to disclose publicly. But she adds, “we give prizes to each other for being the silliest. And we exchange loving messages half a dozen times a day. He’s always telling me how much he loves me.”
Happy Anniversary, Bill and Julie!
—D.S + S.S., Gif via dvdp