How We Met: A Story for Valentine's Day by Carol Markel

How We Met: A Story for Valentine's Dayby Carol Markel

The year was 1962. I was 18 and a freshman at Elmira College. Richard was 29 and a new instructor of art at Elmira. The college held a convocation to introduce the faculty to the students -- an auditorium full of women. This was a college for women only. The faculty was arrayed on the stage, resplendent in their academic robes and mortar boards. The president of Elmira, a one J. Ralph Murray, introduced each teacher starting with full professors and continuing to instructors seated in the back row. Each would stand upon hearing his name. J. Ralph came to Richard. He stood. Tall, reed-thin, handsome, sandy, blond hair -- a skinny Gregory Peck. The women applauded. A collective swoon swept the theater.

Carol and Richard on their wedding day
Cupid, hovering above me, shot an arrow which sailed right through my heart. When the convocation was over, I ran down the aisle to where the Dean of Students was sitting. Breathlessly, I inquired, "Is it too late to sign up for an art class?" I had planned to major in English.
52 years later. Richard and I are celebrating Valentine's Day in Naples, Florida, We are sharing a creative life -- the only kind we can live. Cupid was right. There is still a lot of love and laughter in our lives.

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