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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?

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More How They Met Stories & Pictures


Swedish Princess Madeleine

Swedish Princess Madeleine fell in love in the Big Apple. Now she has said "yes" to New York banker Christopher O'Neill in a lavish and emotional wedding ceremony in Stockholm.


Madeleine is the youngest of Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia's three children and fourth in line to the throne. She became known as Sweden's party princess in her early 20s, when she was frequently spotted at Stockholm's high-end nightclubs, and has attracted widespread attention for her stylish clothes.


But her life hasn't always been a fairytale. Madeleine's extravagant lifestyle has often been criticized by Swedes, who prefer the down-to-earth attitude of her sister, Crown Princess Victoria, who married a commoner. And in 2010, she fled to New York after breaking off her first engagement to Swedish attorney Jonas Bergstrom amid media reports that he had cheated on her.


Since then, Madeleine has held a lower profile, working for the nonprofit World Childhood Foundation in New York, where she met Christopher O'Neill through mutual friends.





The couple was first spotted together having lunch at the Central Park Boathouse in January 2011 and they announced their engagement in October 2012.


O'Neill was born into a wealthy family. His late father, Paul O'Neill, set up the European head office of Oppenheimer and Co. in London in the 1960s and his mother, Eva Maria O'Neill, is involved in several charities. He studied at a boarding school in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Boston University and a master's degree from Columbia Business School in New York.


The 38-year-old O'Neill fought back tears as the princess walked down the aisle with her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, to a traditional Swedish wedding march performed by a children's choir. The bride and groom were visibly moved as the ceremony proceeded.



O'Neill, who holds dual American and British citizenship, has declined a royal rank in Sweden, which would have required him to become a Swedish citizen. He has chosen to continue working and the newlyweds are expected to move back to their apartment in Manhattan.

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/swedish-princess-madeleine-weds-york-banker-144513927.html

AP Television Producer Yesica Fisch

Brown v. Board of Education
On May 17th 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled that school segregation violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling came in response to arguments presented in the now famous Oliver Brown et al v. the Board of Education of Topeka.

Oliver Brown had sued the Topeka Board of Education after his 8 year old daughter Linda had been refused access to a near by white school, and was forced to travel 21 blocks to attend a school for African American children.

Newly appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren had a strong record concerning civil rights.

As governor of California, he had overseen the internment of many Japanese- Americans, and the haunting memory of this injustice resulted in his devotion to the civil rights cause.

In the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Warren’s vote made the decision 5-4 in favor of overturning segregation, but Warren wanted a unanimous decision. He succeeded in bringing the rest of the court around.

When the decision was announced on May 17th, Justice Stanley Reed one of the last to finally concede his vote, wept as it was read.

Nina Elisabeth Palmquist Meyers was the woman Earl Warren came home to every evening and, most likely, discussed the burden history had placed on his shoulders.

Nina, originally from Sweden, was a young widow and mother when she and Warren met one Sunday morning at a pool party celebrating a friend’s birthday.

The two were married in October 1925 and had 6 children together.

They were married until Earl Warren’s death in 1974, after which Nina, once again, became a widow until her own death at the age of 100 on April 24, 1993.

Chief Justice and Mrs. Earl Warren are buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery.
http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/05/17

Jackie and Rachel Robinson
On April 15th all eyes will be on the number 42 and all MLB players will proudly wear it in honor of the late, great Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson and Rachel Isum were a most amazing couple. They met as students at UCLA where Rachel, who was studying nursing, was impressed by Jack's self pride and inner strength.

I grew up knowing all about Branch Rickey's decision to bring Robinson into the Major League, and about PeeWee Reese's famous display of friendship and unity when he put his arm around his teammate, Jack, while the crowd booed and jeered.

Somehow,though, the stories all seemed to be about the white guys, and about what I, as a white kid, could do to be a better person.


Reading about the lifetime of racism endured by both Jack and Rachel, before and during their very public life, makes me admire this couple even more.


Their love and devotion not only flourished in the face of intense public scrutiny, but survived the barrage of hatred and racism directed at them and their family.


Clearly they were always in each others hearts and souls, and that belief in themselves and in their love overcame the obstacles and cleared the way for Jack's historic role in baseball and civil rights.

Annie Oakley and Frank Butler

It was the spring of 1876 and well known sharp-shooter, Frank Butler, had come to Cincinatti to perform in his traveling act, "Baughman and Butler".

Frank placed a "little" side bet with Jack Frost, a wealthy Cincinnati hotel owner. One hundred dollars (roughly today's equivalent of $2,000) was put on the table claiming that Frank Butler could beat any local, fancy shooter in a match.

Fifteen year old Phoebe Ann Moses, was known in the area for her amazing shooting skills. She'd been providing support for her family by hunting game since she was eight. Her sales to local residents and restaurants eventually paid off the farm mortgage for her widowed mother.

Imagine Butler's surprise when a five foot tall Annie was presented as the local competition. The match was on! They stayed even in their shots until the twenty fifth round, when Frank missed the target. Annie won the bet, and also won Butler's heart.

Annie replaced Baughman in the traveling shooting act, and the Butlers toured together. Annie eventually became a solo act, with Frank always at her side.

Now known as Annie Oakley, she performed all over the United States and Europe. She was even asked by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to shoot the ash off a cigarette he held in his hand. Later, after the outbreak of
World War I, Annie wrote to the Kaiser requesting a second shot. He never replied.

Annie and Frank were married for almost 45 years. He remains a wonderful example of a man who thoroughly supported his wife, never felt threatened by her success, and loved her devotedly until the end. Annie died on November 3, 1926 at the age of 66 from pernicious anemia, perhaps due to lead poisoning from all her years of contact with firearms. She had stayed strong and active well into her sixties; still amazing crowds with her expertise and setting records with her sharp shooting. Frank was inconsolable after her death, and his own followed a mere eighteen days later. They are buried side by side in Greenville, Ohio.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Oakley

Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born in Venice on April 2,1725.
Handsome, charming, and charismatic, Casanova was first seduced at the young age of 11.

" The girl pleased me, though I had no idea why. It was she who little by little kindled in my heart the final sparks of feeling which later became my ruling passion."

As a young man, Casanova led a life of adventure that took him all over Europe, and into the bed chambers of many an elegant lady.

When he wasn't fleeing his gambling debts, imposing on willing patrons, or escaping the dreaded prison of the Doge, Casanova pursued his favorite pastime...women.

He truly loved the art of sex, but honored women. In his writing he advises his readers to always seek mutual consent, and tells us that he often wore an "assurance cap" to protect his lovers from unwanted pregnancies.

His affairs were studies in the art of seduction. His ideal liaison would involve a woman needing rescue from a brutish or jealous lover. Her gratitude would result in seduction and a short, but exciting affair. Once the passions cooled, Casanova would convince the woman of his unworthiness, and help arrange a match with a more worthy man.

In old age "to keep from going mad, or dying of grief" Casanova decided to write his memoirs.

He found great satisfaction and delight in his work, and twelve volumes later he appeals to his reader stating,

"My follies are the follies of youth. You will see that I laugh at them, and if you are kind you will laugh at them with me."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova#The_memoirs


Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter had a love of fanciful pictures and stories from a young age. She sought out the illustrations of artists such as Edward Lear and Tenniel (Alice in Wonderland) to advance her own style.

In her teenage years she and her brother designed and printed Christmas cards as a way to earn some extra money.

Her now famous illustrated letters to her friend's son, Noel, were the birth of the much loved Tale of Peter Rabbit. Using her own pet bunnies as characters in her story, Potter kept the frequently ill Noel entertained with the story of four little rabbits: Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902 by the firm Frederick Wayne and Co.
Norman Wayne became Potter's editor. Over the next two years they worked together developing several subsequent books and spin-offs such as rabbit dolls and 'The Game of Peter Rabbit".

Love followed friendship, and Norman proposed in July 1906. One month later, however, he tragically and unexpectedly died of pernicious anemia.

One can only imagine the heartbreak experienced by Beatrix at this time. She turned her grief into action, and continued with the couple's plans to buy a broken down farm in a near by village.

Hill Top Farm required all of Beatrix's energies, and she enlisted the help of solicitor William Heelis to help her navigate all the necessities behind owning and managing a farm estate.

In 1912 Beatrix and William married. Perhaps it was a different type of love than her first had been, but it was a wonderful relationship.

For 30 years they farmed together and enjoyed watching their extended family grow and prosper.
William always supported Beatrix's independence and art.
So nice to see that someone could survive such a tragic loss and end with such a happy life. Just like a Beatrix Potter tale.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter
Beware the Ides of March
Julius Caesar had some good times and some not so good times. The dreaded ides of March (March 15th) was one of the latter.


According to Plutarch, a seer had warned Caesar that the ides of March would bring him great harm. On his way to the senate, where he was about to be murdered by his friends, Caesar passed the seer.
Feeling that old confidence he joked,
“The ides of March have come.”

The seer, feeling a new confidence replied,

“Aye, Caesar, but not gone.”


Let’s bring Caesar back to a happier time…


Julius Caesar and Cleopatra
Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages. We can just imagine Julius Caesar telling his friends,
"When they unrolled the carpet and Cleopatra was there, I just knew she was the girl for me!"
One version of the story tells us that the time period was 48 BCE and Rome was in the midst of a civil war; Julius Caesar on one side and Pompey on the other.
In Egypt, Cleopatra was having her own problems. Her brother Ptolemy XIII had wrested power away and forced Cleopatra into exile.
Meanwhile Pompey fled to Egypt hoping to escape Caesar's military force and ally himself with Ptolemy. Unfortunately for him Ptolemy was not interested in an alliance. He had Pompey executed and presented the head to Caesar.
Caesar was not amused and sent his armies into Alexandria.
Cleopatra recognized the opportunity to make a comeback!
Arrangements were made to present Caesar with a Persian carpet. When it was unrolled there was Queen Cleopatra.
Caesar was charmed!
Ptolemy was killed during a brief civil war, and Caesar restored Cleopatra to her throne.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ides_of_March

Wintery Jungle Books

The beginning of March is usually a time when I would trade in my Vermont farmhouse for a tropical location. I dream of warmth,sun,lush scenery, and exotic creatures. Instead I am surrounded by a world of white that is barely responsive to the harkening signs of spring.


It was therefore a delightful surprise to learn that Rudyard Kipling not only wrote the wonderful Jungle Books in Vermont, but did so in the depths of winter, dreaming of warmth, sun, lush scenery and exotic creatures all while looking out on a world of white.


Rudyard Kipling, named for Lake Rudyard in England, where his parents had first courted, was already a prolific writer when he met his wife, Carrie, at the age of 26. He had been very close friends with Carrie's brother, writer and publishing agent Wolcott Balestier. When Balestier died suddenly of typhoid fever, Kipling sent a telegram to Carrie asking for her hand in marriage.


Some speculate that Kipling truly loved Wolcott and sought solace in a relationship with his sister.


In any case, it was Carrie who first brought Kipling to her family's Vermont estate, and later rented the tiny, rural Bliss Cottage where Mowgli, Akela, Bagheera, and Shere Khan came to life.



In his 7 by 8 foot workroom at Bliss Cottage, in the stillness of the winter of 1892, Kipling let his pen take charge as the snow piled up outside around his windowsill. He credited his Vermont life with his new found health, and his returning creativity.


. "When winter shut down and sleigh bells rang all over the white world that tucked us in, we counted ourselves lucky."



So, as I impatiently wait for the green of spring to arrive, I will head out on my skis into the still,white world that surrounds me and I will count myself lucky, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudyard_Kipling


Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville
Robert Doisneau

One Valentine's Day, my very romantic husband gave me a framed copy of Robert Doisneau's Le Baiser. It has always hung over my writing desk offering inspiration and invitation to travel and romance.

Dreams do come true, and we have been to Paris many times, each time discovering romance in another part of the beautiful city, all looking like the background of the wonderful Doisneau photographs.




Robert Doisneau is one of France's best known photographers,and is known for his street photography and the many images of everyday French life. He is quoted as saying,"The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street."



The famous kiss in front of l'Hotel de Ville has the spark of spontaneity in its action. The lovers in the photo,were Françoise Delbart, 20, and Jacques Carteaud, 23, both aspiring actors. In 2005 Françoise Bornet (née Delbart) remembered that,


"He told us we were charming, and asked if we could kiss again for the camera. We didn't mind. We were used to kissing. We were doing it all the time then, it was delicious. Monsieur Doisneau was adorable, very low key, very relaxed."



Although the relationship between Delbart and Carteaud only lasted for nine months, the The Kiss is one of the most celebrated photographs of modern times.



Robert Doisneau had his own romantic meeting. When a lovely French girl, named Pierette, came cycling through the village where he was on holiday, the two fell in love and were married. Unlike the lovers in Le Basiere de l'Hotel de Ville, Robert and Pierette Doisneau were married and remained together until death parted them in 1993.

Vive le baiser et la romance!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Doisneau

Serendipity
Serendipity is defined by Merriam-Webster as
"the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for."


The word was first used in 1754 by writer and parliament member Horace Walpole. In a letter to a friend, Walpole wrote that he came up with "serendipity" while remembering a once read fairy tale, "The Three Princes of Serendip".


While traveling from their small island nation off the southern tip of India, the princes frequently made discoveries of things not intentionally sought after.


Many marvels from the benefits of penicillin to the wonders of Viagra:) have been discovered while researching for entirely different purpose.

So, what better way to describe that chance meeting that results in that amazing relationship? How often do we ask ourselves those hundreds of "what if" questions referring to the slight change of plans, timing, or choices that would have resulted in never meeting our special someone?

A UK translation site lists serendipity as one of the most difficult words to translate in the English language.

The word itself may break down in translation, but the true meaning is universal.

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2010/01/28




Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa

Bruce Springsteen was already "The Boss" when he met Patti Scialfa in the early 1980's.
She was singing at the well known Stone Pony in New Jersey with a buddy of Bruce's. Springsteen liked her sound, and probably much more, and introduced himself. The two started hanging out and became good friends.
In 1984 Springsteen asked Scialfa to join the E Street Band for the upcoming Born in the U.S.A. Tour.


Things were really starting to click for the couple, when Springsteen was introduced to Julianne Phillips. Bruce made the choice all guys do in a bad Hollywood movie. Ignoring the difference in their ages, experiences, and worlds, Bruce entered into a short and unhappy marriage that lasted only three years.


Meanwhile Scialfa was working hard to get her solo act together when her old friend asked her to join his Tunnel of Love Tour. Patti was understandably reluctant professionally, and probably personally as well. She was convinced by Bruce to come along and the tour promoting the haunting songs written during his unhappy relationship with Phillips, brought Springsteen and Scialfa together at last.


Responding to the inevitable inane criticism of the press, Springsteen replied;
'Hey, what does it matter?' But it does matter. It's very different than just living together. First of all, stepping up publicly—which is what you do: You get your license, you do all the social rituals—is a part of your place in society and in some way part of society's acceptance of you ... Patti and I both found that it did mean something.

Patti and Bruce are married, have two kids and live in New Jersey....how romantic!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen#Personal_life

 

 

Anton Chekov and Olga Knipper

Born on January 29, 1860 in the South of Russia, Anton Chekov was the middle child in a family of six children. He always claimed to get his talents from his father, but his soul from his mother.

Yevgeniya was an excellent storyteller, who related spell binding tales of her travels all over Russia before she was wed to Anton's tyrannical father.

It was no wonder that years later, when Anton met and fell in love with the talented and high-spirited actress, Olga Knipper, he was reluctant to marry. He feared that the institution of marriage would be too much of a burden for the romance they shared.


Chekov was considered one of Russia's most eligible bachelors when he met Olga during rehearsals for his play, The Seagull. The young actresses volatile and emotional personality attracted the handsome play-write and kept him "on his toes".

Chekov, who had advanced tuberculosis, continued contact with Olga during his attempts at recuperation in Yalta. Flirtation turned to deep affection and he worried about committing himself to someone ten years his junior knowing he was gravely ill.

Olga, in frustration, wrote to his sister, "Can anyone come to a decision with him?"

Finally on May 25,1901 Olga and Anton were married in a secret ceremony.
Anton's illness and Olga's career made long separation a continued part of their lives together. Despite this they stayed in love and remained together until Chekov's death on July 1,1904.
He wrote to Olga,
"We have one fault in common, we married each other too late."

http://www.gyford.com/archive/2009/04/28/www.geocities.com/Paris/Parc/9893/anton2.html

 Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend we stop and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his enormous contribution to world peace, justice, and humanity. We also know of the great work of Coretta Scott King as an author, activist and civil rights leader. But when trying to find out how M.L. and Coretta met, there was not much information.

History has focused on the couple's working partnership rather than on a boy meeting a girl and finding a lifelong friend and soul mate. In the Fall of 1951 Martin Luther King, Jr. had arrived in Boston to continue his studies at Boston University. He called an old friend from Atlanta, Mary Powell, and asked the age old question; could she fix him up with a friend? King, however, was not chasing girls, he was looking for a wife.

Mary had met a young woman while studying at the New England Conservatory of Music who she thought might be just the right choice for her friend. Coretta Scott has been described as a poised, attractive, independent thinking woman. She could also be described as brilliant and talented. Coretta grew up in Marion,Alabama the daughter of hard working parents who, though uneducated themselves, were determined that their children receive good educations. Coretta was awarded a full scholarship at Antioch College and went on to continue her study in music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

When she met M.L. she was unimpressed with his 5'7" stature, but she soon became impressed with his mind and heart. M.L. told her, "You have everything I have ever wanted in a wife. There are only four things, and you have them all...character,intelligence, personality, and beauty." Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr. were married on June 18, 1953 on the lawn at her mother's house. The ceremony was performed by the Martin Luther King, Sr. Coretta completed her studies and graduated from the New England Conservatory with a degree in voice and violin. She and her husband moved to Montgomery, Alabama in September 1954.The rest is history!

The Papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Volumes 2-3; Martin Luther King, Jr.,Clayborne Carson,Peter Holloran,Ralph Luker,Penny A. Russell
http://books.google.com/books
www.wikipedia.com/Coretta Scott King

 

 J.R.R. Tolkien



The recent release of the film, The Hobbit, makes this a perfect time to celebrate the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Born on January 3, 1892, J.R.R.Tolkien began life in South Africa. Following the sudden death of his father, their mother, Mabel Tolkien moved the family back to England.

John and his younger brother Hilary were educated by Mabel Tolkien, who later converted the family to Roman Catholicism and placed the boys under the guardianship of Father Francis Xavier Morgan.

John met Edith Bratt when they were only in their teens. They were living in the same boarding house and developed a close friendship that resulted in the two falling in love.

Father Morgan disapproved of Edith. He felt she was a distraction to Tolkien’s studies and was horrified that John could fall in love with a Protestant girl. He forbade the romance to continue, and John wishing to obey, ceased any further contact with Edith.

At last, on the eve of his twenty first birthday, John felt free to declare his love for Edith. He wrote requesting her hand in marriage, but he was too late, she had become engaged to another.

True love always prevails, however, and the young couple met secretly beneath a railway viaduct to renew their romance.

They were married on March 22,1916 and remained husband and wife for over fifty years.

While a professor at Oxford University, J.R.R. Tolkien was grading exam papers when he discovered that a student had left an entire page blank.

For reasons even unknown to him at the time, Tolkien wrote on the empty page;
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

This single line became first a bedtime story for his children, and later the beginning of the much beloved book, The Hobbit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien#Courtship_and_marriage

Are you welcoming in the New Year (or recovering from last night's celebrations) with a special New Year's Day feast? Here are some wonderful blogs to check out for delicious recipes that are both unique and easy to create.

http://acozykitchen.com/

http://thesecondserving.com/

And, as Julia Child would say,

“Bon Appétit!”

Julia Child, author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and star of the television show "The French Chef" galvanized the life of women everywhere by instilling a combination of artistry and humor in the kitchen, a sense of adventure in cooking, and a desire to take a risk and try something new.
This past year was the 100th anniversary of Julia Child's birth.
Julia and Paul Child
Julia Carolyn McWilliams grew up in Pasadena, California the much loved, oldest child of a well to do, rather traditional family, who enjoyed the easy, outdoor, social life of southern California.

When World War II broke out, Julia wanted to enlist in the Women's Army Corp (WACS) or the Navy's WAVES, but her impressive height (6ft. 2in.) did not meet military requirements, so she turned her talents towards the Office of Strategic services (OSS).

Here she became a top secret researcher working directly under the head of OSS. She was posted to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and it was there that she met Paul Child.

Paul was everything Julia was not. He grew up in Boston, the son of a rather bohemian mother who had lived in Paris and was an excellent cook. Paul was cultured, spoke perfect French, had traveled the world, and was passionate about good food and wine.

He proved to be a perfect partner for Julia, inspiring her creativity, encouraging her career, and providing love and friendship for almost 50 years.
My Life In France, Julia Child Alex Prud'Homme (Random House 2006)




Charles Dickens


In December of 1843, at the age of thirty, Charles Dickens was already a well known writer whose fame in Europe and North America drew huge crowds when he was booked for book tours. He was married to Catherine Hogarth and the Christmas season of 1843 had the young couple expecting their fifth child.


As with most of his characters, Dickens own life was a rags to riches success story, but this December found the family in desperate need for money. Catherine’s two sisters were living in the household along with Charles’ brother Frederick. Book sales had been brisk, but the profit margin smaller than expected. Dickens felt that his publisher was at fault for this lack of profit, and he determined to take matters in his own hands.


Charles Dickens wrote intensely for six weeks and produced “A Christmas Carol”
When it was finished in early December, and he had written “The End” in huge letters, underlined three times, Dickens decided to by pass his negligent publishing house and publish the book himself.


Recognizing its potential value, he oversaw every aspect of its publication, and the final edition saw the book bound with gilt-edged pages, the title pages in a vibrant red and green, and four hand-colored etchings and wood cuts illustrating the now classic tale.


Just as he hoped, “A Christmas Carol”, released on December 19, 1843, sold out its first edition of 6,000 copies by Christmas Eve. Unfortunately The book sales barely covered the expense of publication, and the hoed for profit of 1,000 pounds, was reduced to a bare 200 pounds.


The gift Charles Dickens gave to future readers, though, is priceless. “A Christmas Carol” is considered on of the most influential pieces ever written, and has become a part of Christmas tradition.

So, as was said of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who finally found the true spirit of the holiday and,

“…that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge…

“May that be truly said of us, and all of us!”

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org

Victoria and David Beckham
When soccer super star, David Beckham, was asked which Spice Girl he liked best, he always answered,
'The Posh one. The one with the bob. The one with the legs."

In November 1996 he told his close friend and teammate, Gary Neville,
"She's so beautiful.I just love everything about that girl,Gaz.You know, I've got to meet her."

He finally got his chance when Victoria attended a charity football game sponsored by Manchester United in 1997.

Their first meeting was more typical than magical with Beckham becoming tongue tied in the presence of the glamorous star and Victoria recalling,

"I didn't really know who he was. I was never into football."

Allegedly the entire romance was engineered by the Spice Girls PR team, but the romance which ensued followed its own natural course.

After the game, Victoria tried to get the conversation going by saying...that old standard line we use when we are clueless about sport specifics.
"Good game."
Beckham allegedy replied,
"Glad you enjoyed it, Victoria."

Posh loved the shy formality and supposedly informed her new crush that if he didn't phone, she would,
"Kick him in the balls."

Their dates were shrouded in necessary secrecy, and like many couples before them, their first kiss was in a parked car in a parking lot.

And, like most other couples, David Beckham had to win over the girl, her friends, and her family.
And, as in most situations, David Beckham was victorious. The girl said "yes", the friends and family gave their collective nods of approval, and the young couple married....and lived happily ever after?

I don't know..I don't follow the Posh and Becks news, but I think they are doing about as well as most couples. They have a family, two successful careers, and a love that, so far, seems to have survived at least one affair and some terrible intrusions on the part of fans and press alike.

Real love in a real world...never easy.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2516052/.html
Go Pats!
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

I am not a big football fan, but I am a big Tom Brady fan. This guy is an amazing talent, a strong leader both on and off the field, an athlete who is a real team player, and a dedicated husband and father.

I've never been to a Patriots game, but I had the privilege of seeing Tom Brady up close one night when my husband and I were walking back from dinner in Harvard Square. We were walking by the football stadium when we saw this amazing pass. It ended up to be the Special Olympics football night with Tom Brady and a host of other players. And...there was Brady, making another winning pass to help out his team.

We hung around till the end of the game, and were walking away when my husband spotted Brady's Audi 8 parked and ready to go.Tom's handlers were trying to get him into the car to whisk him away, but Number 12 stopped to sign autographs for the small crowd of enthusiastic kids standing near by.

Another time the Brady Mobile was noticed was after an early morning Boston accident. The damage to both cars was minor, and, fortunately no one was hurt, but the press was all over the fact that Brady was passing through the city at a pre-dawn hour.Suspicion grew as Brady professed to be on his way to a practice down at Foxboro. Would a super star like Tom really be up so early to go to work, or was he on his way home from a late night? An annoyed Coach Belichick assured the cynical press that, yes indeed, Tom Brady was up that early to attend a mandatory practice.

Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen met on a beach in Rio de Janiero. He, of course, was "tossing" around the football and she "of course" was quite taken.

When the time seemed right, Tom proposed to Giselle in a private plane filled with white roses and chilled champagne.

So, did this gorgeous pair end up happily ever after?

By all accounts Tom and his wife Giselle are a happy couple.They live in Boston with their son, and are expecting a baby this December.
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/tom-brady-gisele-bunchen-love-story


John and Priscilla
John Alden and Priscilla Mullins were both passengers on The Mayflower when it arrived in Plymouth in 1620.

John was not a Pilgrim, but had been hired to do repairs on The Mayflower when she was still in Southampton, England.

He decided to make the journey to the New World perhaps with the hope of gaining prosperity or perhaps with the hope of winning the love of one of the passengers, Priscilla Mullins.

John was not the only passenger to fall in love with the lovely maiden; his good friend, Captain Miles Standish, planned to ask her for her hand in marriage.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, The Courtship of Miles Standish, tells the story of the resulting love triangle. Miles loves Priscilla, Priscilla loves John, and John loves both Priscilla and his friend, so decides to take no action.

Things look grim until Priscilla, who had been through quite a bit of suffering already, speaks up and challenges "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" He does, they marry, and all is well.
www.wikipedia/John Alden

Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson

Unlike most people, especially these days, I actually love politics!
I am part of a very political family. My husband ran 7 successful campaigns for statewide office and all three of our daughters spent time at many political rallies and parades. Even though political campaigns are exhilarating, though, and you truly get to meet the most amazing people, they can be very challenging to any relationship.




I had to smile watching Barack and Michelle Obama on their now famous anniversary, the terrible night of the first presidential debates. Although it pained me to watch this couple have such a lousy evening, it brought back memories of some snarly anniversaries shared by my husband and me during some tough campaigns. You know those romantic moments when you are arguing over some stupid detail and one of you says, "Oh yeah...Happy Anniversary."

I am a shameless Barack Obama supporter and really admire the Obamas as a couple.

Michelle Robinson is an attorney and was, at the time of their meeting, working at the very prestigious firm of Sidley Austin in Chicago. In June 1989 she was assigned a summer associate to mentor,Barack Obama.




By all accounts, Barack had a pretty good opinion of himself, and I would bet that Michelle's first impression was one involving eye rolling and raised eyebrows, but...that Obama charm, personality, and smile eventually won her over.




Barack and Michelle attended many social functions together and, although she was impressed by his intelligence, sense of humor, and good looks, she always declined Obama's requests to date. Finally at the end of the summer she gave way to her feelings and their friendship evolved into a relationship. Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama became engaged in 1991. They were married on October 3, 1992.


So, here's to a couple who support each other through good times and bad...even through "snarly" anniversaries. Here's hoping that their next anniversary is a happy one!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Obama

 

Jon Stewart and Tracey McShane

In order to maintain a balanced point of view in today's volatile political climate, I rely on two major news sources; the thoughtful :) conservative pieces presented by Steven Colbert, and the more comfortable (to me) liberal point of view presented by Jon Stewart in The Daily Show.


Despite the fact that Jon Stewart readily recognizes his show is meant to be satire and comedy, The Daily Show has received 16 Emmy awards, and has been nominated for various news and journalism awards. His intelligence and wit, along with his passion for truth results in "fake news" which often is presented with more authenticity than the "news" found on major networks.

Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz. He was raised in New York City, mostly by a mother, who any fan of The Daily Show knows, is revered by Stewart for her commitment to teaching and education.

After Graduating from The College of William and Mary in Virginia, Stewart moved to New York City to try his hand in the comedy club circuit.During this time he began using Jon Stewart as his stage name.

In 1999 Comedy central launched The Daily Show, and the rest is news history.

In 2000 Jon Stewart married Tracey McShane, his girlfriend of four years. The two met on a blind date arranged by a friend of Stewarts who had been a production assistant on a former Stewart film.

I love the way Jon Stewart proposed!

Working with Will Shortz, the crossword editor at the New York Times, Stewart created a personalized crossword puzzle that, clue by clue, popped the question.

Jon and Tracey live in New York City with their son, daughter, cat, and two dogs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Stewart

 

Stephen Colbert and Evelyn McGee

Watching Stephen Colbert and the nightly Colbert Report is an evening routine I look forward to as one that informs me on daily "truthiness" and makes me both contemplate political and world events and laugh out loud at Colbert's "conservative" view point.


His onscreen persona as Stephen Colbere...the savvy, intelligent, very conservative news anchor allows him to brilliantly explore and parody both sides of the political aisle.


One of my favorite aspects of the Colbert report is its over all gentle approach to this type of sarcasm. Stephen Colbert never sprinkles expletives or edginess throughout his stories simply for shock value.


Stephen Colbert grew up in a family of 11 children in Charleston, South Carolina.he began his acting career while studying at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, and became a Theater Major after he transferred to Northwestern University.


In his early career, he was hired to perform with Second City's touring company, and there he met Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello.


At first the three comedians didn't get along. Dinello thought that Colbert was pretentious, and Colbert thought Dinello to be an "illiterate thug". During the tour everything changed, and they all became very close friends.


The three collaborated on a show called, Strangers with Candy. While filming the show, Stephen Colbert met his future wife, Evelyn McGee, who played several roles in the filming of both the series and the resulting film.


The Colbert-McGee family is a happy one with three children: Madeline, Peter, and John. When asked if his children watch The Colbert Report, Stephen replied that he prefers that his children not watch the show. he recognizes that kids do not really understand his style of sarcasm and irony, and that he would never want them to perceive their dad as being insincere.


All of this information about my favorite news guy only supports my feeling that all of this time I was being entertained, informed, and amused by a very intelligent, caring, and decent man.




Clara and Robert Schumann


I am sure that when Friederich Wiek threatened to shoot Robert Schumann if he continued to court his daughter, Clara, he was only behaving like any caring father. After all, Robert Schumann, who was Clara's senior by nine years, had a history of drinking and depression. Wiek had another future in mind for Clara, and was training her to become a concert pianist.


By the time Clara met Robert Schumann, also a student of Wiek's, she had far surpassed her father's expectations. By age 14, Clara was known throughout Europe for her brilliant performances and stunning compositions.


One wonders if Papa Wiek was a bit concerned over the potential loss of his daughter's fame and income. At any rate, he bitterly opposed the relationship between Robert and Clara and was forced to allow the marriage to take p;lace only after years of court battle.


Clara expressed her own doubts about the upcoming marriage in a letter to Robert. She wrote to him,
"Robert, test yourself. Are you in a position to offer me a life free from care? ...Must I bury my art now? Love is all very beautiful, but, but ---."

Clara and Robert pursued their musical careers together for a time, but their approach to their music differed greatly, and eventually became incompatible. Clara loved performing and touring, while Robert hated both. Robert dreamed of a quiet home life, while Clara hoped she would not be forgotten by her audience.

Eventually Clara chose what she had feared all along, to devote herself to Robert's career and their family, abandoning her own art.

By the time Clara was 35, Robert's depression had deepened significantly.Recognizing the danger he presented to his family, he committed himself to an insane asylum. They had been married 14 years and had parented 8 children. Two years later Robert perished in what one can imagine to be a devastating environment.

Clara, befriended, supported, and probably loved by the new talent, Johannes Brahmes, a close friend and admirer of both Robert and Clara's, returned to her music and performance to both support her family and heal her soul.

Clara's fears that her audience would forget her proved to be unfounded.In 1878, concerts were arranged at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to celebrate the 50th jubilee of Clara's performing career. It was an unforgettable occasion. When Clara came onto the stage the audience rained flowers on her. Her program was comprised of only Robert Schumann's music.


In March 1896, Clara Schumann suffered a stroke. Her friend Johannes Brahms canceled plans for an Italian vacation to wait for news of her improvement. On her deathbed, she asked her grandson Ferdinand to play her husband's F-sharp major romance for her. That was the last music Clara Schumann heard.

http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=1350


Roger Federer and Mirka Vavrinec
This past Wednesday, the Number 6 seed, Tomas Berdych, upset the top-seeded Roger Federer in the quarter finals of the U.S. Open. Roger Federer, always a gentleman on and off the court, is probably the first to recognize "you win some...and you lose some.
Federer was born in Binnington, Switzerland, a small area near Basel. He credits his amazing tennis skills to the variety of sports he played growing up: badminton, cricket, and basketball.

He is an avid cricket fan, and knows that he is interested "whenever a ball is involved."

Apparently that interest extends into his personal life. In 2000, while competing for Switzerland in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he met and fell in love with fellow Swiss teammate, Mirka Vavrinec. After suffering from a foot injury in 2002, Mirka retired from tennis and took on the role of Federer's personal relations manager.

The two were married in a small ceremony near basel on April 11,2009, and on July 23rd Mirka gave birth to identical twins, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva.

Big Win for Federer!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer

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.


John and Annie Glenn

John and Annie Glenn don’t really have a very exciting “how they met” story. John and Annie have known each other their entire lives. Growing up in Ohio, their parents were close friends, and often plunked their baby boy and girl together to share a playpen. The childhood friendship blossomed, and all through high school. everyone knew that any event would have John and Annie coming together. They shared a love of music, a love of each other, a deep bond, and an unbreakable trust.
As John’s fame catapulted his young bride into the public spotlight, Annie’s secret struggle, her disabling stutter,became even more of a burden . Never a problem with her best friend, John, Annie was rendered literally speechless when in any public setting.
After years of frustration and struggle, Annie finally found an intensive speech therapy program which worked. John Glenn wrote of his wife’s experience,
"I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more...I don't know if I would have had the courage."
They’ve loved and supported each other through trying times and dangerous journeys.
As a Marine, John flew nearly 150 combat missions and later flew the famous Friendship 7 mission on February 20, 1962. Before dangerous deployments, or the terrifying 4 hours:55 minutes:23 seconds of space travel, the Glenns practiced the same good-by ritual. Using the lyrics of an old song,
John would say, “I’m just going down to the store to get a pack of gum.”
Annie replying,“Don’t be long.”
When John Glenn went up in the Space Shuttle Discovery, on October 29, 1998, he handed Annie a small pack of gum to hold until his safe return.
This week on April 6th, 92 year old Annie and 90 year old John will celebrate 68 years of marriage. Here’s to a wonderful life of love and adventure….God speed, John and Annie.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn

Prince Naruhito and Masaka Owada

Prince Naruhito,the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, is the heir apparent to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan. While in his early thirties, Naruhito met and fell in love with Masaka Owada, a beautiful, intelligent and highly accomplished diplomat in the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Masaka Owada’s resume is impressive, to say the least. At the time of their meeting when she was 29, Masako had earned an A.B. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard University, and had attended graduate courses in International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford University. She had also studied briefly at the University of Tokyo, in preparation for the entrance examinations at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A native Japanese speaker, she is fluent in English and French, and is conversational in German, Russian, and Spanish.
Prince Naruhito had met Masaka Owada when her father served as an escort to the Imperial Royal family, and was reacquainted when she was preparing for her Ministry of Foreign Affairs examinations.
The Prince was understandably smitten and sought Masaka’s hand in marriage. Her name had been removed from the list of potential matches for Naruhito, due to some political scandal in her family’s past, but apparently the Prince did not get the message. Their relationship continued and he proposed twice before Masaka accepted his hand in marriage.
I think that her reluctance had nothing to do with affairs of the heart, but more to do with affairs of state. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like for such an accomplished woman to relinquish all independence and individual success to enter a royal marriage.
Perhaps Masaka’s deepest fears ended up coming true. After years of trying to produce that all important male heir, the royal couple announced the birth of their daughter on December 1, 2001. Despite the fact that many in Japan would welcome an amendment to the Imperial Succession Law, it appears that Princess Toshi, as she is known, will have no right to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan. Like her mother, she might only be looking forward to a life in which she plays a supportive, never a leading role.
Masaka Owada, former female superstar, is now known as the Princess who can’t produce, and the woman who suffers from “adjustment disorder”, more commonly referred to as anxiety and depression. Her husband, who I’m sure, still adores her, actually appealed to the public to be more understanding of his wife’s condition.
"I would like you to understand that Masako is continuing to make her utmost efforts with the help of those around her. Please continue to watch over her kindly..."
Maybe she should have refused that marriage proposal just one more time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Princess_Masako


Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton
Heart of oak are our ships, jolly tars are our men,
we always are ready; Steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.


By the time Lord Horatio Nelson met Lady Emma Hamilton, he was a hero of epic stature in the eyes of the British Empire. His dramatic and bold actions against the French, during the Napoleonic Wars, led to one victory after another boosting the morale and hopes of his fellow Brits.
Although many details of the early life of Emma Hamilton are unclear, she is known to have lived in the village of Hawarden, where she worked as a maid. Her life turned more interesting when she became friends with a fellow domestic servant, Jane Powell, who introduced her to the life of an actress. Emma's beauty and charm led her into high society, where she became the mistress, and eventually the wife, of Sir William Hamilton.
Now, as Lady Hamilton, her former life of uncertainty and struggle was replaced with a solid position in late 18th century England. As wife of the British Envoy, Lady Hamilton met Horatio Nelson in 1793, when he came to gather reinforcements against the French during the Napoleonic Wars. He returned in 1798, a living legend after his celebrated victory at the Battle of the Nile, in Aboukir.
Emma is reputed to have flung herself upon Nelson in admiration, calling out “Oh God, is it possible?” The war had aged Nelson, and he was weakened by the loss of an arm during battle. Lady Hamilton nursed him back to health, under the roof of her husband, and arranged a party of 1,800 guests to celebrate Nelson’s 40th birthday.
In 1801, Emma gave birth to Nelson’s daughter, Horatia. They were still living in the house of Sir William, but this was soon to change. Nelson bought a small cottage near what is today Wimbledon, and set up a home with Emma, their daughter, her mother….and Sir William, who idolized Lord Nelson.
They became the "cult couple" of the time; the two most famous and celebrated Britons in the world. Their romance was tolerated, and even encouraged by all.
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Hamilton

Annie Oakley and Frank Butler

It was the spring of 1876 and well known sharp-shooter, Frank Butler, had come to Cincinatti to perform in his traveling act, "Baughman and Butler".
Frank placed a "little" side bet with Jack Frost, a wealthy Cincinnati hotel owner. One hundred dollars (roughly today's equivalent of $2,000) was put on the table claiming that Frank Butler could beat any local, fancy shooter in a match.
Fifteen year old Phoebe Ann Moses, was known in the area for her amazing shooting skills. She'd been providing support for her family by hunting game since she was eight. Her sales to local residents and restaurants eventually paid off the farm mortgage for her widowed mother.

Imagine Butler's surprise when a five foot tall Annie was presented as the local competition. The match was on! They stayed even in their shots until the twenty fifth round, when Frank missed the target. Annie won the bet, and also won Butler's heart.
Annie replaced Baughman in the traveling shooting act, and the Butlers toured together. Annie eventually became a solo act, with Frank always at her side.
Now known as Annie Oakley, she performed all over the United States and Europe. She was even asked by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to shoot the ash off a cigarette he held in his hand. Later, after the outbreak of World War I, Annie wrote to the Kaiser requesting a second shot. He never replied.

Annie and Frank were married for almost 45 years. He remains a wonderful example of a man who thoroughly supported his wife, never felt threatened by her success, and loved her devotedly until the end.
Annie died on November 3, 1926 at the age of 66 from pernicious anemia, perhaps due to lead poisoning from all her years of contact with firearms. She had stayed strong and active well into her sixties; still amazing crowds with her expertise and setting records with her sharp shooting. Frank was inconsolable after her death, and his own followed a mere eighteen days later. They are buried side by side in Greenville, Ohio.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Oakley

The Great Believer

Although Henry Ford and Clara Bryant grew up within eight miles of each other, they first met at a New Year's Eve Ball when Clara was 18. They spoke for only a few minutes, but Henry Ford would always recollect that he knew Clara was the girl for him right away. Henry Ford, who loved dancing, attended many more dances that season, but it was nearly a year before he saw Clara again. The young couple soon became engaged and were married on April 11,1888, the bride's twenty second birthday.

Henry Ford often referred to his wife as his great believer. Clara always showed faith and confidence through all the years of hard work and challenges.

Her support was rewarded.  After living in a total of ten rental homes, Henry's dream of success finally came true. They bought 2,000 acres along the Rouge River in Dearborn, and Fair Lane, the home where Clara and Henry would live the rest of their lives, was constructed.

In Dearborn, Clara and Henry would entertain friends and family at Fair Lane. The Fords also continued to enjoy dancing; Henry saw to it that Fair Lane had a large dance floor and that it was regularly used.

In a 1938 issue of The New York Times Magazine, Henry Ford was quoted as saying, "The greatest day of my life was the day I married Mrs. Ford."  Apparently Henry Ford was a great believer,too.



Grace Goodhue and Calvin Coolidge

 
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.", and 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."
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Collidge
Charles and Emma Darwin

When Charles Darwin returned from his five year voyage on the ship, the Beagle, his groundbreaking research rapidly made him a celebrity in scientific circles. Working tirelessly to develop, write and present his theories on self selection and evolution, he began to suffer poor health as a result of the pressure.Seeking rest and relaxation he went to Shrewsbury to visit his cousins the Wedgwoods. There he was able to see his charming and very intelligent cousin, Emma. Months were to pass before the couple saw each other again, but clearly she was in Charles' mind and most likely in his heart as well. On the journey to Shrewsbury he created a pros and cons list on the subject of marriage. Clearly not a romantic, Charles wrote in the pros column "constant companion and friend in old age...better than a dog anyhow." Cons included "less money for books." Apparently the pros outweighed the cons and Charles approached Emma on July 29th intending to propose marriage. The conversation must have turned to subjects closer to his heart because he did not get around to proposing and, ignoring his father's advice, discussed instead his controversial ideas of transmutation and natural selection. Finally in November the proposal came and the couple was married in January 1938. Emma's firm Unitarian beliefs contrasted strongly with Charles' new scientific philosophy. She always valued his openness when discussing their differences, however, and she supported him and cherished him all through his life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin


Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

Humphrey Bogart was known as a cool, commanding, and compelling film actor whose glib "one liners" are highly recognizable and often quoted. He met his perfect match while filming "To Have and Have Not". Lauren Bacall was only nineteen when she auditioned for the film's leading lady role. She reported that she was so nervous she tucked her chin into her neck and looked up at the camera, inadvertently creating a look that would be her signature. Bogart was in a miserable marriage which finally ended in divorce allowing him to marry Lauren Bacall on Mat 21, 1945. The couple had two children; a son, Stephen, named for Bogart's fictitious name in "To Have and Have not", and a daughter, Leslie. They remained happily married until Bogart's death in 1957. When Humphrey Bogart was cremated, Lauren Bacall buried with his remains a gift she had received from him before their marriage. As a memento of the film where they met and fell in love, Bogart gave Bacall a gold whistle on which was inscribed, "If you want anything, just whistle."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humphrey_Bogart
Julia and Paul Child
 
Julia Child, author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and star of the television show "The French Chef" galvanized the life of women everywhere by instilling a combination of artistry and humor in the kitchen, a sense of adventure in cooking, and a desire to take a risk and try something new. 
Julia Carolyn McWilliams grew up in Pasadena, California the much loved, oldest child of a well to do, rather traditional family, who enjoyed the easy, outdoor, social life of southern California. When World War II broke out, Julia wanted to enlist in the Women's Army Corp (WACS) or the Navy's WAVES, but her impressive height (6ft. 2in.) did not meet military requirements, so she turned her talents towards the Office of Strategic services (OSS). Here she became a top secret researcher working directly under the head of OSS. She was posted to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and it was there that she met Paul Child. Paul was everything Julia was not. He grew up in Boston, the son of a rather bohemian mother who had lived in Paris and was an excellent cook. Paul was cultured, spoke perfect French, had traveled the world, and was passionate about good food and wine. He proved to be a perfect partner for Julia, inspiring her creativity, encouraging her career, and providing love and friendship for almost 50 years.
 My Life In France, Julia Child Alex Prud'Homme (Random House 2006)


Charles and Anne Lindbergh
This weekend the space shuttle Atlantis prepares for its last flight, ending a 3o year NASA program. This 12 day mission will close out the space shuttle program as NASA turns its focus on sending astronauts to asteroids or Mars, and turning the International Space Station mission over to the private sector. We have traveled a long way from the feelings of awe and wonder once experienced by witnessing flight.

Early in the morning of May 20th 1920, Charles A. Lindbergh took off in The Spirit of St. Louis from Roosevelt Field in New York City to make the first successful solo flight across the Atlantic. Americans sat glued to their radios waiting for word of Lindbergh’s success. The world cheered as his plane was spotted over the coast of Ireland and 100,000 jubilant spectators overwhelmed the shy, adventurous pilot as he landed at LeBourget Field in Paris after less than 34 hours of flight time.
Anne Morrow was a young woman of 21, finishing up at Smith College, when she fell in love with Charles Lindbergh. Her father, Dwight Morrow, as U.S Ambassador to Mexico, invited Lindbergh to Mexico to conduct a good will tour. The new American hero received a roaring welcome from his southern neighbors, and a feeling of awakening from his future bride.
That night Anne writes in her diary of their first meeting: "It was breath-taking. I could not speak. What kind of boy is this?" Then, after Lindbergh takes her up for her first flight, she pens: "I will not be happy until it happens again." Later, after he flies on to other Central American countries, she writes: "The idea of this dear, direct, straight boy how it has swept out of sight all the other men I have known. All my life, in fact my world, my little embroidery beribboned world is smashed. I must have been walking with my head down looking at puddles for twenty years!"
Two years later Anne and Charles were married and shared the heavens and the earth, celebrations and tragedies, and love and understanding for 47 years.

http://www.charleslindbergh.com/anne/index3.asp 



John and Abigail Adams
John Adams and Abigail (Smith) Adams were third cousins who had known each other all through childhood. A nine year age difference, however, made John unaware of his bookish, rather delicate, younger cousin. One version of their story tells us that in the year 1762 John accompanied his friend, Richard Crane, to the Smith house. Crane was engaged to Abigail's older sister, Mary. Intrigued by her shyness and impressed by her intellect, John became very attracted to his 17 year old cousin, Abigail.
From this point on John and Abigail became two of the most famous pen pals in history, leaving behind a copious collection of letters. Their correspondence, over the course of their relationship, gives readers a view not only of the couple’s critical role in the American History, but of their deep affection and mutual respect.
As was the custom of the time, both John and Abigail adopted pen names. John took on the name of the Spartan War hero, Lysander, while Abigail vacillated between Diana, after the Greek goddess, and Portia, wife of the great Roman politician, Brutus. John’s letters address both of these pen names, as well as “Dear Adoreable”, but Abigail’s letters to John always contained the same greeting: “My Dearest Friend”.

My Dearest Friend,
…should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it contained nothing new; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time -- nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart...

For over three decades John and Abigail supported each other through trying times and separations with the love and friendship found in the thousands of letters…their pen pal correspondence.

http://www.libraryonline.com/default.asp?pID=57



E.B. and Katherine White

One Memorial Day, back when I was young and single, I visited my very cool sister who was living in the East Village of NYC. This was back before Manhattan apartments were selling for millions, before the East Village became home to well to do professionals, and before NYC went through its social and economic downward spiral. In short, the city was exciting and amazing, and being in my sister’s funky apartment (it had the shower in the kitchen) was an adventure. The evening of my arrival we were discussing ‘what to do’ that night, when she pulled out that week’s “The New Yorker” to check out “The Talk of the Town” for a menu of events. Coming from Vermont, I had never thought of the magazine as a list of tangible possibilities, but more of a fantasy life in print. I think that night I fell in love with New York, “The New Yorker” and everything associated with both. To me, E.B. and Katharine White always represented the best of my worlds; the pace and glamor of New York City, and the appreciation and devotion to rural life. This weekend I celebrate their “how we met” love story. 


Elwyn Brooks White joined the staff of the illustrious New Yorker magazine in 1928. I an interview with the NY Times in 1980, he recalled the first time he met Katharine.
An elfin smile wreathed his face as he recalled the day they met. It was at The New Yorker in 1926, and he had already submitted "two or three short things" to the new and struggling magazine. "She came striding out into the reception room where I was panting, waiting," he said. "'Are you Elwyn Brooks White?' she said, and I said, 'I am.' She had a lot of black hair and was very beautiful."
"I never liked Elwyn," he went on. "My mother just hung it on me because she'd run out of names. I was her sixth child." But from college on, to his relief, he has been called Andy. 
Mr. White described his love affair with Katharine Sergeant Angell as "stormy." He added, "She was a divorced woman, but a conscientious mother with two children. I was six years younger than she. We finally went off and got married one day." That was in 1929. Years thereafter, he was to write: "I soon realized I had made no mistake in my choice of a wife. I was helping her pack an overnight bag one afternoon when she said, 'Put in some tooth twine.' I knew then that a girl who called dental floss tooth twine was the girl for me." (http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/08/03/lifetimes/white-katharine.html)
The couple loved NYC, but loved to escape to their coastal Maine farmhouse even more. It was there that Katharine wrote the wonderful Onward and Upward in the Garden, a must read for any garden enthusiast, and E.B. turned his talents to his wonderful children’s books, among them the unforgettable classic, Charlotte’s Web. EB and Katharine were together for nearly 50 years of marriage, and rest together again at their ‘quiet saltwater’ farm.



Winston and Clementine Churchill

Clementine Hosier and Winston Churchill met the first time in the Spring of 1904 at a ball. When Winston arrived with his mother he was instantly beguiled by a lovely young woman standing off on her own. Following his urgent request, his mother, lady Randolph Churchill, made inquiries as to the girl's identity. She ended up to be the daughter of an  acquaintance of Lady Randolph's...so introductions were allowed and made. Unfortunately Winston was so smitten  that he stood in front of Clementine unable to speak and only succeeding in convincing her that he had approached her so she would not be standing alone. Embarrassed, she signaled to a friend to come to the rescue and escaped the humiliation inadvertently caused by Churchill's sudden shyness.

Four years were to pass before their next, this time more successful, evening. Clementine received a last minute invitation to attend a dinner party held by her aunt. Exhausted by her day, Clementine reluctantly dressed and went to round out the number of diners to a more auspicious number of 14.Meanwhile Winston Churchill, also not keen on the idea of an evening out, arrived so late that the guests had already begun to dine. Discovering who his seating partner was, he engaged Clementine in conversation throughout the meal, and stayed in close attendance all through the evening.This time the flame was kindled on both sides and a truly remarkable and enduring romance and partnership ensued.Soames, Mary; Clementine Churchill, The Biography of a Marriage. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, 1979


Carole Lombard and Clark Gable

It was 1936 and two legends from the silver screen, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, met, fell in love, married, and became one of the most famous couples during the Golden Age of Hollywood. 
Carole Lombard was a gorgeous, sexy, blond whose brilliance as a comic actress made her the highest paid star in Hollywood. Off screen she was much loved for her unpretentious personality and well known for her down to earth sense of humor and acerbic quips. Clark Gable was everybody's favorite leading man. handsome, charming, and always the romantic lead, he had a fan following unmatched by most.
The two originally met in 1932 during the filming of  No Man of Her Own, but met again in 1936 at a ball organized by Lombard. Gable proposed to Lombard in 1939 in a telephone booth at the very famous Brown Derby restaurant. Humor, intelligence, and a passion for jokes kept the original spark alive all through their marriage. After a fight one time, Gable awoke to a flock of doves in his hotel suite. A request for a kitten resulted in the arrival of a baby cougar brought back from a Gable safari. In 1941 returning home from a trip to boost morale for U.S. troops heading off to WWII, Carole Lombard was killed when her flight crashed shortly after take off in Las Vegas; she was only 33. Clark Gable was inconsolable and joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. he was later in attendance at the christening of the SS Carole Lombard. When he died in 1960, Clark Gable was buried alongside Carole Lombard in Glendale, California.
www. wikipedia_carolelombard.com


Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Lee
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
From Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem In Memoriam:27, 1850

 Theodore Roosevelt had found the love of his life in the lovely and delightful Alice Lee.They met through Richard Saltonstall, a college friend of the young T.R., and a friend and neighbor of the Lee family. Roosevelt was immediately smitten by Alice and wrote of their first encounter. "As long as I live, I shall never forget how sweetly she looked, and how prettily she greeted me." Just 17, Alice was described as athletic, charming and strikingly beautiful.
For the young T.R. it was love at first sight. He continued to see Alice for the next year, and finally won her over. On February 13, 1880, an ecstatic Roosevelt recorded in his diary his great joy that the woman of his dreams, whom he had actively courted for more than a year, had finally accepted his proposal of marriage. Knowing that his love was reciprocated and that he could now "hold her in my arms and kiss her and caress her and love her as much as I choose" The engagement was formally announced the next day, February 14, 1880. The young couple wed on October 27, Theodore's 22nd birthday...Alice was 19. For the next several years they were happy and proseperous. T.R. launched his brilliant political career, Alice was the toast of the town and a much beloved addition to the Roosevelt family,and the two began plans to build a huge home on Oyster Bay, Leeholm, where the young couple imagined years of happiness together surrounded by a large and loving family. By February 1884, Alice was 9 months pregnant with their first child. Everything seemed to be going well, and she and T.R. moved in with his mother, as the time of the birth drew near.  On Tuesday, February 12th, Alice gave birth to a baby girl. Theodore, up in Albany on business, received the joyous news and basked in the hearty congratulations of friends. Only a few hours later, however, a second telegram arrived. T.R.'s mother, Mittie, appearing to be suffering from a cold the Friday before, had taken a turn for the worse, and something was wrong with Alice. By the time T.R. arrived both women were in critical condition; Mittie, the doctor told him was dying of typhoid fever, and his beloved Alice of a kidney malfunction called Bright's disease. Mittie died at three in the morning of February 14th, and Alice died at two that afternoon. Theodore made a large X on the page for February 14,1884 in his diary and wrote underneath, "The light has gone out of my life." Later from a small table in the Dakota Badlands, where he had escaped to try and heal from his terrible suffering, he wrote of Alice,
She was beautiful in face and form, and lovelier still in spirit; as a flower she grew, and as a fair young flower she died.
And when my heart's dearest died, the light went out of my life forever."

The year after Alice's death, Theodore ran into an old friend, Edith Carow. T.R. and Edith had been the closest of companions all through childhood. Being with Edith was what Theodore needed to help conquer his grief and resume his life. The two married on December 2, 1886, in a small ceremony in London. Edith and T.R. fulfilled the original dream of filling Leeholm with love, laughter, and children. The Roosevelt family of 7 was often joined by friends and relatives. Edith became First Lady when Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency in 1901. A perceptive aide described the First Lady as "always the gentle, high-bred hostess; smiling often at what went on about her, yet never critical of the ignorant and tolerant always of the little insincerities of political life." A certain light would always be absent from T.R.'s heart, but a second chance at love and happiness came his way when Edith Carow reentered his life.
Mornings On Horseback David McCullough (Simon & Schuster 1981)
http://www.wikipedia.com/

Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Elizabeth Barrett began her love sonnets to Robert Browning immediately after their first meeting. He had written to express his admiration for her work, and an introduction was arranged. Elizabeth, already a very famous and popular poet, could not believe that she was the recipient of this younger man's attention. Although sickly and frail, she is described as having "large,tender eyes richly fringed by dark eyelashes, and a smile like a sunbeam." Robert was smitten, and the couple secretly corresponded for nearly two years before Elizabeth eloped with Robert and he whisked her away to a life in Italy. A son was born several years later, whom they nicknamed, Pen.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
 www.wikipedia_Elizabeth Barrett

Bill Gates and Melinda French

 
January can be that listless time of year when the post holiday 'blahs' settle in. In my life, this sluggishness is frequently mixed together with a heightened anxiety over those post holiday bills, and there I am day dreaming about leaving it all behind. These are, what a friend of mine calls, ‘luxury problems’. I recognize how very fortunate I am, and how the access to opportunity for me and my family is truly great. Still, though, if I get back to my day dreams, what person has not fantasized about meeting that special someone, who also happens to be unbelievably rich? Money certainly can’t buy happiness, but as Bill and Melinda Gates demonstrate, you can be happy, have lots of money, and provide hope and opportunity to countless others.

While attending a Microsoft Press conference in Manhattan in 1987, Bill Gates met Melinda French. At the time Ms. French was a recent graduate of Duke University’s prestigious Fuqua School of Business, and had joined Microsoft participating in the development of many of Microsoft’s multimedia products.

Apparently the meeting was a success, because Bill Gates proposed in 1993. According to some stories, Gates had his private jet flown to Omaha where Warren Buffett helped the couple choose a ring from a jewelry store opened for the occasion. None of this sounds very romantic to me, but I am assuming the couple’s desire for privacy has kept the complete proposal story off the internet.

Anyway, the engagement was a success, and Bill Gates and Melinda French were married on January 1, 1994. They chose to have a small, private, yet lavish, ceremony on the remote Hawaiian island of Lanai.

The marriage has been a great success; two daughters and a son have been added to the Gates-French family. Perhaps, though, the most important product of the Gates-French connection has been the establishment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The foundation’s philosophy is to recognize that every life has equal value, and to help ensure greater access to opportunity for all individuals. To date Bill and Melinda Gates have contributed over 24 BILLION dollars.

Happy Anniversary!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melinda_Gates and http://marriage.about.com/od/entrepreneurs/p/billgates.htm

The Gift of the Magi

We are never told how Jim and Della meet in O.Henry's famous Christmas short story, The Gift of the Magi, but their deep love for each other is demonstrated by the sacrifices they are willing to make to assure the happiness of the other. The story tells us that...


... there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy. 


It's the day before Christmas and there is no money to be had in the Dillingham Young household to buy a gift for her beloved Jim. In desperation Della decides to sacrifice her greatest possession to get enough money to buy Jim a beautiful watch chain for his prized gold watch. She rushes out and sells her long flowing hair before she has time to change her mind. Jim comes home later that evening looking tired and pale.He stands speechless when he sees Della's shorn head. She misunderstands and explains that it was to buy him a gift. He embraces her and lets her know that he loves her no matter how she apears, but... 


if you'll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first." White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat. For there lay The Combs--the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims--just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone. 


Della quickly recovers, though, and leaps up to give Jim his wonderful present. She asks for his watch so they can both see how beautiful the new chain will look on it. Instead of obeying, Jim just sits back on the couch and smiles. Of course, he had sold his watch to buy Della the combs.
When I was growing up, this story frustrated me to no end. I wanted to know that everything, the hair the watch, was restored and fixed in the end. Now, though, I appreciate the loveliness and uncertainty of O.Henry's famous surprise ending. 


The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




e.e. cummings
Edward Estlin Cummings, better known as E.E. Cummings, was one of the most influential and popular poets of the 20th Century. His unconventional orthography, using lower case letters in his poetry, along with his unusual use of punctuation, seems to invite the reader to take time and travel through the poem with heart and mind joined as one.
One of my favorite E.E. Cummings poem is also, in my opinion, his most romantic; a poem expressing the joy and wonder of two hearts traveling through time and space as one.


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing,my darling) 
     i fear 
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)   



This poem was written by E.E. Cummings in 1920, during a time when Cummings was in love with Elaine Orr, the wife of a Harvard friend. Their affair resulted in the birth of a daughter in 1919. Cummings and Orr were married on March 19, 1924...and lived happily ever after? Unfortunately, the answer to that is a resounding "no!". The marriage lasted two months, and the divorce that followed resulted in such animosity that Cummings did not see Nancy again until 1946.
But...the poem lives on and inspires. E.E. Cummings, always a spiritual man, wrote in his journal,
"Bon Dieu! may I someday do something truly great.amen" I believe he succeeded.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings 






Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
 
Not long ago, while living in Berlin, I picked up a German Vogue magazine in an attempt to brush up on my language skills. One of the interviews in Vogue that month, was a charming interview with Jennifer Garner. Along with discussing the actress's current work and overall career, Ms.Garner found herself talking about her husband, Ben, and what a great dad he is. Interviews, unlike tabloids, focus on areas the celebrity chooses. In this article it was clear that the Garner-Affleck family, like many others, had funny stories about life at home that they were delighted to share with the reader. One part of the article was particularly difficult to translate, it had something to do with Ben Affleck and his daughter's hair. Since I was at the hairdresser's myself while reading this, I asked for help. It ended up that Jennifer Garner was saying that one could always tell when Dad was in charge of the two girls by looking at the way their hair was "arranged" when they left the house. This image made me remember when my husband brought my two daughters into the hospital to see their new baby sister. The girls had chosen their own outfits and had asked my husband for help braiding their hair. The result was wonderful; a wild mix of independence, attempt at symmetry, and a feeling of huge accomplishment. While researching the Garner-Affleck tribe for this article, I was delighted to learn that they have a baby boy on the way. I wish this family much joy,happiness, and luck in continuing their efforts to protect their privacy from the one sided tabloid press. Oh...and how did they meet anyway? I believe that Jennifer and Ben met on the set of Pearl Harbor. So, on this December 7th, when the rest of the world remembers "a day which will live in infamy", and families and friends everywhere honor the memories of the thousands killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, perhaps the Garner-Affleck family will be remembering the day when mom met dad and led to all of their future happiness. 

Steve Jobs
This past week we lost Steve Jobs, the iconic, sometimes controversial, and always brilliant mind behind Apple Inc.. To me, his final weeks exemplified his courage in entrepreneurship and creativity. He seemed to face his biggest challenge, his battle with cancer, in the same way he faced challenges all his life; to think “beyond what anyone thought possible” and to do “some great work, really great work that will go down in history.”

When it came to romance, apparently Jobs followed the same game plan. When Steve met his wife Laurene, she was in an MBA program at Stanford University. Jobs was scheduled to be at a business meeting when he decided to follow his heart instead of his agenda;
“If this was my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting, or with this woman?” He ran across the parking lot, from which they were both heading out, and asked if she would have dinner with him. She said ‘yes’, they walked back into town and were together ever since. I’m sure during the  successful and long lasting relationship the journey was made smoother by some of the lessons Steve Lohr of the NYT writes that Jobs has left behind;
Good ideas take time,
Don’t dwell on mistakes,
And, perhaps most important,
Passion counts for a lot.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/8-things-didn-t-know-life-steve-jobs-172130955.html


Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Last year at this time, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Nice, along the beautiful French Riviera. I regretted not making the short trip over to Monoco, since the friends who did marveled over its amazing vistas. 
To Americans, when Grace Kelly made the same trip, but to become "princess of the realm" , it seemed like fantasy had magically become realty. Could a commoner really become royalty,live happily ever after, and be on the Riviera as well?
On April 15,1956 the world prepared for what was called by the press "The Wedding of the Century". America's own, Grace Kelly was marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco, and leaving her actress life to become a princess. Apparently the marriage was a result of practicalities rather than romance. Grace Kelly led the American delegation to the Cannes Film Festival in April 1955. While there, she was invited to a photo shoot at the palace to meet Prince RainierIII. The prince was shopping for a wife. Apparently because of the Monaco Succession crisis of 1918, Monaco would revert to France if an heir could not be produced by Rainier. Happy to bid farewell to his bachelor life, in exchange for continuation of his reign, Rainier traveled to Philadelphia in pursuit of Grace Kelly. When asked , "If you were pursuing a wife, what kind would you like?" Rainier smiled and answered, "I don't know...the best." If America were choosing a match for the prince in the mid 1950's, Grace Kelly would undoubtedly have been at the top of everyone's list. She brought style and class to all of her roles, whether on stage or in film, and had a quiet presence about her which commanded respect. It seemed natural that a prince would choose her from all others to stand by his side and "rule the kingdom". The match was arranged very much in the manner in which royal had been wed for hundreds of years. Kelly and her family paid Prince Rainier III a dowry of two million U.S. dollars, Grace Kelly gave up her acting career, and the palace was completely redecorated to welcome the bride.On April 4, 1956, leaving from New York City Harbor, Grace Kelly, along with her family, bridesmaids, poodle, and over eighty pieces of luggage boarded the ocean liner SS Constitution bound  for the French Riviera.Thousands of fans sent the party off for the eight-day voyage, and in Monaco, more than 20,000 people lined the streets to greet the future princess. As Alfred Hitchcock said, he was very happy that Grace had found herself such a good part. Fairy tales can come true...with a little help on the side.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Kelly 

Thomas and Mina
We all know Thomas Edison was a very inventive and innovative guy who changed lives everywhere. His first marriage to Mary Stilwell ended suddenly and tragically when she succumbed to illness and died at a very young age, leaving Thomas widowed with three young children. The next year, while appearing at an exposition in New Orleans, Edison met the lovely and engaging, Mina Miller.
She was the  daughter of a fellow inventor, who was at the exposition displaying his firm's farm machinery. Thomas and Mina fell in love! during the couple's courtship, Thomas taught Mina Morse Code. Always inventive, he proposed to her by tapping the code out on her hand. And, Smart girl that she was, she responded "yes" in kind.  


Veteran’s Day
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
The year my husband completed a graduate program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, we were young newly weds who felt like we had “arrived”, and we were determined to take advantage of all Harvard had to offer. The first event we attended that year was at the American Repertory Theater. The members of ART were beginning the season with solo performances, and the first was a reading from Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. The reading vividly brought to life Brittain’s haunting prose describing the heartbreaking loss of her fiancee and her best friend, her brother, to the horrific events of the First World War,
“There seemed to be nothing left in the world, for I felt that Roland had taken with him all my future and Edward all my past.”
When the performance was finished, the actress quietly remained on stage as the audience sat in stunned silence, unable to applaud.
The last event my husband and I attended that same year  was the highly anticipated spring concert dominated by two exciting acapella groups, The Harvard Krokodiloes and The Radcliffe Pitches. The concert was held in Harvard's Sander's Theater, and the house was packed, the energy high, and the music wonderful. These talented student performers were capable of bringing laughter and tears to an audience who wildly cheered and savored each song performed. The Kroks traditionally had each member of the group perform a solo to be backed up by the remaining singers. When a young African American student stepped forward to sing, no one expected the performance to take the turn it did. Sander’s Theater is housed in Harvard’s Memorial Chapel, a huge Victorian building constructed in 1865 to honor Harvard students who fought for the Union in the Civil War. As time has passed, more sad memorials have been added to honor Harvard students who have died in all the wars fought since the Union was saved. On this night, the student began to sing the poignant song “Mama Look Sharp” from the musical 1776. As he sang, his voice transported both himself and his listeners to another place where the feel of battle, and the terrible peace which lay in its wake, held us all in its power. Once again, after the performance, the house sat in stunned silence. The singer himself seemed to have difficulty regaining his focus, and two members of the group came forward to join him as the crowd broke into thunderous applause. Both events still bring tears to my eyes, and both events make me feel that on this day all the veterans of all the wars are very much with us in mind, heart and spirit.
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/213527.Vera_Brittain

Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville
Robert Doisneau
One Valentine's Day, my very romantic husband gave me a framed copy of Robert Doisneau's Le Baiser. It has always hung over my writing desk offering inspiration and invitation to travel and romance. Dreams do come true, and we have been to Paris many times, each time discovering romance in another part of the beautiful city, all looking like the background of the wonderful Doisneau photographs.


 Robert Doisneau is one of France's best known photographers,and is known for his street photography and the many images of everyday French life. He is quoted as saying,"The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street." The famous kiss in fornt of l'Hotel de Ville has the spark of spontaneity in its action. The lovers in the photo,were Françoise Delbart, 20, and Jacques Carteaud, 23, both aspiring actors. In 2005 Françoise Bornet (née Delbart) remembered that "He told us we were charming, and asked if we could kiss again for the camera. We didn't mind. We were used to kissing. We were doing it all the time then, it was delicious. Monsieur Doisneau was adorable, very low key, very relaxed." The couple in Le baiser were Françoise Delbart 20, and Jacques Carteaud, 23, both aspiring actors. In 2005 Françoise Bornet (née Delbart) stated that "He told us we were charming, and asked if we could kiss again for the camera. We didn't mind. We were used to kissing. We were doing it all the time then, it was delicious. Monsieur Doisneau was adorable, very low key, very relaxed." Although the relationship between Delbart and Carteaud only lasted for nine months, the The Kiss is one of the most celebrated photographs of modern times.
Robert Doisneau had his own romantic meeting. When a lovely French girl, named Pierette, came cycling through the village where he was on holiday, the two fell in love and were married. Unlike the lovers in Le Basiere de l'Hotel de Ville, Robert and Pierette Doisneau were married and remained together until death parted them in 1993. 
Vive le baiser et la romance!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Doisneau


Superman and Lois Lane

It's Halloween, and the little kid in all of us is released! When I was growing up, going out trick-or-treating in my neighborhood was about the most exciting thing in my life. Think about it! What could be better than dressing up, traveling the streets in the dark with hoards of costumed friends, and getting huge amounts of candy in the bargain? Now, being out at night doesn't seem so illicit, and candy is available anytime I want it. For most of us, though, dressing up in costume still is a transformational experience. What is it about a costume that allows us to change both our inner and outer selves? We seem to have more courage, perform daring deeds, and often impress others with the mystery and possibility that surrounds our new persona. Just look at Lois Lane and Superman. 
Lois Lane was created in 1938. She was a tough, career minded woman, based on real life journalist, Nellie Bly. In 1940, much to Lois' dismay, along came Clark Kent. To her he was nothing but annoying competition in the dog-eat-dog world of reporting on the Daily Planet. Of course, though, when Clark Kent came along, so did Superman. Was I the only person who was amazed at Lois' obtuseness concerning the identity of Superman? How could she not see that he was Clark Kent? Now I know the answer...it was the costume. As soon as the guy took off his glasses and put on the"S" outfit, complete with cape, he was transformed. He looked no more like Clark Kent than Jimmy Olsen did. Lois often came close to thinking Superman and Clark Kent were indeed the same man, but fortunately our caped crusader always managed to keep the myth and the romance alive. Lois and Superman have been an item for a long time. Here's to that Superhero in all of us!
Happy Halloween.
www,wikiepdia.com

Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis
 
The romance between Maria Callas and Aristotle Onassis remains one of the legendary and tempestuous ones of modern times. Maria Callas, an American born Greek soprano, was considered one of the most renowned opera singers of the twentieth century. Aristotle Onassis, an émigré from Turkey, established himself over time as one of the world’s wealthiest men. When the two superstars met in Venice in 1957, both were at the height of their power, fame, and attraction. The fact that Callas was married at the time of their meeting, did nothing to dissuade Onassis from pursuing what he wanted. He extended several invitations to Maria and her husband to join him on his yacht, the Christina, and each time the invitation was refused.
Not used to being rebuffed, Onassis traveled to London to watch Callas perform at Covent Garden in the premiere of Medea. He hosted an elaborate post-performance reception for her, decorating the room with thousands of roses, and inviting such dignitaries and celebrities as Winston Churchill, Gary Cooper, The Duchess of Kent, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
 Callas remained unimpressed and made only a brief appearance. A month later, however, Maria and her husband accepted an invitation to an Onassis celebrity-packed cruise. This time, the lady was charmed, and thus begun the ups and downs of the world famous affair. The cruise lasted several weeks, at the end of which Callas left her husband. Onassis had won, again…but, perhaps, Maria had lost. At the beginning of the affair Onassis flew all around the world just to be by her side, even for minutes at a time. After awhile, however, the tables were turned. Callas had temporarily set her career aside to be with Onassis, and found herself following him around the world. Whether the passion had diminished, only the two lovers will ever know, but the Greek shipping tycoon had set his sites on a higher prize, Jacqueline Kennedy. In October of 1968, Callas learned, along with the rest of the world, that Jacqueline Kennedy had become Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Maria was forty five and never seemed to fully recover from the betrayal. She grew reclusive, and made a final tour of Europe, America, and Asia in 1973-1974, but her voice had begun to fail her. Predictably enough, the Kennedy-Onassis match did not thrive, but the Callas- Onassis romance never was fully rekindled. Aristotle Onassis died in 1975, and Maria Callas died just two years later.
New York Social Diary.com

Sometimes true love is right there in front of you...it just needs some time to mature.
When I was growing up, the youngest of four children, my parents would, at my father's insistence, go out on a "date" once every few weeks. This was at a time when many women in my neighborhood didn't know how to drive a car, and spent long days taking care of huge Irish Catholic families. My father had grown up in one of those families, he was the second oldest of ten children, and he wanted a different life for himself and his wife.
 The top "date night" choice for both my mother and father was to see the latest Broadway musical hits. We had an LP collection of them all, and I could sing every major role regardless of gender or age. My all time favorite was Gigi.
Gigi tells the story of a young girl in Paris in the days when love was considered an art to be taught. Gigi is the reluctant pupil of her Great Aunt Alicia, who is training her niece in the ageless art of being a successful courtesan. Gigi has no thoughts of love, and only enjoys being with Gaston, the handsome and much older nephew of a close friend. As the enchanting musical progresses, Gigi grows increasingly lovely and charming, and, naturally, Gaston finds himself falling in love with the same young girl he has watched grow up. The story ends when Gigi agrees to be Gaston's courtesan, and all seems perfect until their first public outing. Everyone succumbs to Gigi's charms, and Gaston is congratulated by all. The evening ends suddenly, however, when Gaston brings Gigi home and leaves with no explanation. What could have gone wrong? Gigi weeps and fears all is lost. Gaston realizes that he does not want Gigi to be his escort, he wants her to be his wife. 

He runs back to seek Aunt Alicia's blessing, and Gigi rushes to his waiting arms. 
I'm sure that, at the time, there was some handsome older boy who needed to have the same awakening concerning me. This story was my dream come true! Paris...love...what more could a girl want? Well, like Gigi, I also had a happily ever after ending which included a handsome guy, Paris, and lots of love. Doesn't get much better than that...on or off stage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigi

Walter and Betty Cronkite
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher brought in the school’s only television set so our class could watch the Gemini XII mission reenter the atmosphere and splash down. It was amazing enough that we were allowed to watch TV, but what amazed me even more was Miss Hughes. We all called her “Miss Hughes Sixth Grade” to differentiate her from her sister, “Miss Hughes Fifth Grade”. She was an older woman, passionate about Ancient History, but seeming to be beyond other passions to my eleven year old mind. The news anchor who broadcast the splashdown of Gemini XII that day was, of course, Walter Cronkite. I don’t remember any of the news surrounding the NASA mission, I only remember being completely astonished when Miss Hughes uncharacteristically exclaimed, “Oh, I just love Walter Cronkite!” All America did love Walter Cronkite, and Walter Cronkite loved and cherished Betsy for nearly 65 years of marriage. Here is their “how we met” story.
Walter and Betsy met in 1936 in Kansas City, Missouri while both were working at the KCMO radio station. Betsy was an advertising writer. Walter said in an interview with PBS, "She was one of the most beautiful people I ever saw in my life. ... I saw her for the first time ... coming down the hall ... and I fell in love before I even knew her name, or what she did, or if whether I would ever see her again ... I was paralyzed in wanting to meet this lady ... She worked there a week before I introduced myself ... She was so precious that I didn't dare make any mismove."
No “mismoves” were made and the couple was soon married. Although Betsy is reputed to have been 45 minutes late to the ceremony, Walter remained steadfast as the organist played “I Love You Truly” many times before the bride arrived. Apparently the constant reminder worked.

marriage.about.com/od/entertainmen1/a/wcronkite.htm

The Big Event
It would be remiss to have a collection of couples' “how we met” stories and ignore the big event of the day; the much anticipated Royal Wedding.  As I was reading about how Kate and William met, I decided to journey back in time and do a little research on the “how we met” stories of some of the Royal family.

Anyone who has seen The King’s Speech remembers Elizabeth joking to Bertie about refusing his first proposal. And, anyone who has seen the movie also knows that Prince Albert was a determined, young man, who decided that he would “marry no one else.” In February 1922, when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of  Albert's sister, Princess Mary, he decided to propose again. Once more, though, Elizabeth turned him down being “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to.”
Bertie refused to admit defeat, and finally got lucky on his third try. The couple was married in Westminster Abbey on April 26,1923.


Elizabeth II met Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark several times while growing up. Apparently he made quite an impression, because she was in love with him by the age of thirteen and the two began exchanging letters. Interestingly enough, the match was filled with controversy. Philip was considered to be a foreigner and had sisters who had married German nobleman who were later suspected of having Nazi ties. The Queen Mother reportedly referred to Philip as “The Hun”. True love prevailed, however, and the couple married on November 20, 1947.  The wedding could take place only after Philip had renounced his Greek and Danish titles, had converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglican, and had taken on the surname of his mother’s British family becoming Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer had also known each other for many years before they became involved. Charles, under increasing pressure to marry, took a serious interest in Diana as a potential bride during the summer of 1980. They were both guests at a country weekend and she took the time to watch him play polo. They began dating and Diana was well received by all members of the Royal family. Charles and Diana were engaged in February 1981, and married on July 29, 1981. Diana had just turned twenty years old at the time of their marriage.

Prince William and Kate Middleton met at school. They were both students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland when they met in 2001. The relationship went through the usual ups and downs, mostly William not wanting to commit, and then realizing what he was throwing away. Fortunately for him, Kate was willing to try again. This time he took the step, proposed, and she accepted.
The result…..the Big Event, a Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011.
 I wish them well.




George Washington and Martha Custis
George Washington was about to emerge a hero from the French and Indian War when he proposed to Martha Dandridge Custis. She was a young, beautiful, recently widowed and very sought after prize in the affluent and powerful Chesapeake society. Chances are good that George and Martha had known each other through mutual friends. They became engaged sometime in early summer 1758 and were married on January 6,1759. There is always strong speculation that George Washington was passionately in love with Sally Fairfax, the wife of his best friend George William. It seems, however, that all parties "moved on" and the Washingtons and the Williams remained the closest of friends. When George proposed to Martha he was undoubtedly enamored by her independence and diminutive beauty (she was a full 13 inches shorter than he), but there is no doubt that Washington was taking care of his future and marrying someone with more wealth and power than he possessed. The marriage ended up to be a wonderful one. Martha had two young children by her previous marriage, and George Washington raised them as his own. He was heartbroken over the loss of 17 year old, Patsy and had tried all attempts to save her from her illness. When step son, Jack, died tragically from typhus, Washington raised his children and assumed responsibility for their futures. Martha proved to be the perfect match for this straight forward, yet ambitious, man. She hated being away from home and hearth, but dutifully traveled to Valley Forge each year during the war campaign to bolster the morale of both the troops and her husband. I think the most telling aspect of their marriage is George's instruction to Martha that she destroy all  correspondence between them in the event of his death. Clearly he poured out his heart and soul out to her and,being the very discreet man that he was, did not think that history should intrude on this private love. During this president's weekend we will see the familiar image of an old George Washington on everything from dollars to car sale signs. Martha has been forever enshrined as the old woman wearing the bonnet. Let's, though, remember them for who they were. He, a 27 year old handsome soldier straight from battle, and she a 27 year old, diminutive Southern Belle, mother of two, who wore purple silk shoes with spangled buttons on her wedding day. Love comes suddenly to some and gradually to others; the test is in the time. The Custis-Washingtons were happily married for 40 years.



Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today we stop and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his enormous contribution to world peace, justice, and humanity. We also know of the great work of Coretta Scott King as an author, activist and civil rights leader. But when trying to find out how M.L. and Coretta met, there was not much information. History has focused on the couple's working partnership rather than on a boy meeting a girl and finding a lifelong friend and soul mate. In the Fall of 1951 Martin Luther King, Jr. had arrived in Boston to continue his studies at Boston University. He called an old friend from Atlanta, Mary Powell, and asked the age old question; could she fix him up with a friend? King, however, was not chasing girls, he was looking for a wife. Mary had met a young woman while studying at the New England Conservatory of Music who she thought might be just the right choice for her friend. Coretta Scott has been described as a poised, attractive, independent thinking woman. She could also be described as brilliant and talented. Coretta grew up in Marion,Alabama the daughter of hard working parents who, though uneducated themselves, were determined that their children receive good educations. Coretta was awarded a full scholarship at Antioch College and went on to continue her study in music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. When she met M.L. she was unimpressed with his 5'7" stature, but she soon became impressed with his mind and heart. M.L. told her, "You have everything I have ever wanted in a wife. There are only four things, and you have them all...character,intelligence, personality, and beauty." Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr. were married on June 18, 1953 on the lawn at her mother's house. The ceremony was performed by the Martin Luther King, Sr. Coretta completed her studies and graduated from the  New England Conservatory with a degree in voice and violin. She and her husband moved to Montgomery, Alabama in September 1954.The rest is history!

The Papers of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Volumes 2-3; Martin Luther King, Jr.,Clayborne Carson,Peter Holloran,Ralph Luker,Penny A. Russell
http://books.google.com/books
www.wikipedia.com/Coretta Scott King
 

Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti
 Sofia Villani Scicolone was born in Rome and raised by a single mother who was a piano teacher, but aspired to be an actress. Her aspirations, beauty, and talents were passed along to young Sofia who, at the age of 14, was entering beauty pageants and eventually enrolled in acting classes.
When her film career was launched Sofia decided to become Sophia Loren. She met the famous film producer, carlo Ponti, in 1950 when she was 15 and he was 37. Ponti was so much in love with Sophia that he married her in 1957. A small problem was caused by the fact that Ponti was already married. After one annulment and one divorce, the couple legally married in 1966 and remained happy together until Ponti's death in 2007. When asked in a November 2009 interview if she would ever marry again, the still beautiful and charming Sophia Loren replied,"No, never again. It would be impossible to love anyone else."
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_Loren
 
Fanny Brawne and John Keats
John Keats had a brief life, but a long lasting and brilliant impact on English Romantic poetry. Keats' work is known for its sensual imagery. One influence on his writing was his passionate love for Fanny Brawne. Letters suggest that the two met at the house of a friend, Wentworth Place, in 1818, where Keats had moved to gain relief and recovery after the death of his beloved brother, Tom, from tuberculosis. 
Fanny had much in common with Keats; she also lived in London, shared a first name with Keats' mother, and came from a family who had also suffered loss from tuberculosis. Fanny had a flair for dressmaking, languages, and theater, providing a complimentary contrast to Keats' darker and troubled personality.
By April 1819 the two were seeing each other daily and John was obsessed with his love for Fanny. In a letter to her in October, 1819 he wrote, "My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you-"
At this point John was very ill, suffering from the same disease which had already claimed his mother and brother. Advised to move to a warmer climate in 1820, he left Fanny forever. He died in an apartment one can still visit today, picturesquely situated alongside the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome. He was only twenty five years old. Fanny mourned his loss for six years, and did not marry until twelve years later.
" Love is my religion-I could die for that-I could die for you."(Letter,13 October 1819)
www.en.wikipedia.org/John_Keats

Nori and Mr. Kuroda


On November 15, 2005 Princess Sayako, known informally as Nori, took a big step for love!
The princess is the only daughter and youngest child of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. When she fell in love with and married Yoshiki Kuroda, a Tokyo city hall planner, she was required to give up her imperial title and formally leave the Japanese Imperial Family.
Princess Sayako is well known in Japan as an ornithologist and avian researcher of high standing. In Japan, where most women are married by the age of 30, Princess Sayako was seen as a role model for pursuing her scientific career over marriage. So, the country was amazed when the 35 year old princess announced her engagement to a Mr. Kuroda.
Fortunately the entire situation is much more modern than it seems on the surface. Kuroda has been a family friend for years, and met Nori at a tennis party given by her brother. The Empress and Emperor were delighted with the match and reassured their daughter that nothing would ever change between them. And, the antiquated 1947 law, requiring women in the royal  family to give up their right to succession (this law, of course, does NOT apply to the men), is being reviewed and there are moves demanding it be rewritten to remove the unfair clause.
All in all, though, the romance between the princess and the commoner is the old story of girl meets boy and girl makes sacrifice for love. Hmmm!
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4437386.stm


Go Texas!
 

The Texas Rangers will head to the World Series for the first time in franchise history after defeating the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. One Texan who will be celebrating this victory is President George W.Bush. In the late 80's to the early 90's George Bush was the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers. He loved to attend the games and made appearances in this year's play-offs; an enthusiastic and loyal fan.
President Bush is also an enthusiastic fan of his wife, Laura. The couple first met at a friend's backyard BBQ in July 1977. George Bush was smitten, and proposed to Laura Welch, a teacher and librarian, after only 3 months. The couple married on November 5th of the same year. George Bush has always credited Laura with changing and saving his life. When they met he saw "an elegant and beautiful woman who turned out not only to be elegant and beautiful, but very smart and willing to put up with my rough edges..."
What else could you ask for...mission accomplished?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush




Julius Caesar and Cleopatra
Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages. We can just imagine Julius Caesar telling his friends,
"When they unrolled the carpet and Cleopatra was there, I just knew she was the girl for me!"
One version of the story tells us that the time period was 48 BCE and Rome was in the midst of a civil war; Julius Caesar on one side and Pompey on the other.
In Egypt, Cleopatra was having her own problems. Her brother Ptolemy XIII had wrested power away and forced Cleopatra into exile.
Meanwhile Pompey fled to Egypt hoping to escape Caesar's military force and ally himself with Ptolemy. Unfortunately for him Ptolemy was not interested in an alliance. He had Pompey executed and presented the head to Caesar.
Caesar was not amused and sent his armies into Alexandria.
Cleopatra recognized the opportunity to make a comeback! Arrangements were made to present Caesar with a Persian carpet. When it was unrolled there was Queen Cleopatra. Caesar was charmed!
Ptolemy was killed during a brief civil war, and Caesar restored Cleopatra to her throne.