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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

Now it's your turn to share your story. We want to know,
So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Real Deal

In an era where heroes seem to be in short supply, and there is a tendency to exaggerate accomplishments to acquire heroic status, Neil Armstrong needed no such crutch.

He was the real deal.

Neil Armstrong gained star status when he took the first steps on the moon on July 20,1969. When he radioed to Houston, “The Eagle has landed.” Houston replied, “You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

Neil Armstrong grew up in small town Ohio and learned to fly before he learned to drive.

After serving in the Navy during the Korean War,fighting in the unit immortalized by author James A. Michener  in “The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Armstrong headed off to Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering studies, his grades rising and a career in sight.

While at Purdue he met Janet Shearon. The couple married in January 1956. By the time Armstrong was tapped to command the Apollo 11th mission, Jan and Neal had already gone through more than most couples their age. A young daughter had died from an inoperable brain tumor, leaving two brothers behind.

Heroism, of course, takes many forms. Perhaps none are more heroic than those who see the hero off on the journey. The ones who stay behind watching, waiting, safeguarding all things precious display an inner strength and courage maybe surpassing those who pursue the adventure.

The Armstrongs remained married until 1994. They divorced and went their separate ways. Both Jan and Neil maintained a privacy that protected both the family and the heroic image the nation had created for them.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Napoleon and Josephine

Le quatorze juillet, the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789, was a rallying point and a symbolic act of defiance, pivotal to the start of the French Revolution. Born in 1763 and married at the age of 16, Marie Josephine Rose Tascher de La Pagerie survived the Reign of Terror, imprisonment, and the execution of her husband, Alexander.

Now a widow, Josephine became the mistress of many powerful men including General Napoleon Bonaparte. Six years her junior, Napoleon's ardor for Josephine has been made famous by a collection of his love letters to her.

The couple was married on March 9, 1796. Two days after the wedding Napoleon left to lead the French army in Italy. Unfortunately Josephine wasted no time in beginning an affair with a handsome, young lieutenant.

Her affair led to Napoleon's own affair and the marriage began its decline, ending in divorce in 1810. Despite a tumultuous relationship in turbulent times, Josephine and Napoleon remained on good terms until their deaths.

He is reported to have once said that the only thing that came between them were Josephine's debts.

Her name was among Napoleon's final words when he died in exile on St. Helena in 1821.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Grace Goodhue and Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4,1872 in tiny Plymouth Notch, Vermont.
He was a smart, energetic, and very ambitious boy who was destined to go far beyond his humble beginnings.

Perhaps his most surprising accomplishment, was his success in winning the hand of the lovely and charming Grace.

Grace Goodhue Coolidge's charm and lively personality were the perfect match for the future president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. His reserved manner led to the nickname, Silent Cal, and to many stories that celebrated his New England stoicism. One such story was that, while at a White House dinner party, a guest shared with the President a bet she had with a friend that she could make him say more than two words. His alleged reply was a simple "You lose."

Grace Goodhue graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902. From there she went to teach at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts. One morning while watering flowers outside the school, Grace happened to look up into the window of the boarding house across the street. Much to her surprise she saw Calvin Coolidge standing in front of a mirror shaving, wearing nothing but long underwear and a hat. Her laugh made him look and a romance was launched.

Despite the objections of her mother, Grace accepted Calvin's romantic ultimatum of a proposal,
"I am going to be married to you!".
The couple was married at the Goodhue home at 312 Maple Street in Burlington,Vermont on October 4, 1905.

The marriage was a successful one summed up in lovely prose by Silent Cal,

"For almost a quarter of a century she was borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces."