“I always thought he was a wonderful person,” Diana said of the man who had once been the assistant headmaster at her sons’ school. “I never imagined we would meet each other 30 years later and both be free.”
Diana was widowed, Hogie divorced. Now they’re married to each other.
“It was wonderful to find the perfect partner at the age of 72,” Diana said. “I thought I was going to be alone the rest of my life, which might be a very long time. My grandmother died at 102.”
Sue Peyser (My Lovely Wife’s cousin) and Richard Nance met in 1971 when they were sophomores at Monroe High School in California’s San Fernando Valley. Their first date was at the Greek Amphitheater to see Chicago. (Richard’s dad worked for Dick Clark Productions and was able to get tickets.)
Richard didn’t have a driver’s license, so his mom drove them there and back. Richard said he wanted to kiss Susan good night when he walked her to the door, but her mother had put a blindingly bright bulb in the porch light.
The couple dated again as seniors, until Sue found out that while she was sick at home with mono, Richard had gone out with another girl.
Fast-forward 20 years. With their 20th high school reunion approaching, Richard checked in with the organizers, who included Sue’s best friend, Shari. Shari had long felt that Richard and Sue belonged together, so she conspired to seat Richard and his then-wife across from Sue and her then-husband.
Wrote Richard: “Sue and I both behaved ourselves and we all went our separate ways at the end of the evening. But the spark was still there.”
Five years later, Richard got a Christmas card from Sue with her email address in it. Both were still married, but there was something about that Christmas card — Sue sending it; Richard receiving it — that made them realize they were married to the wrong people. They both filed for divorce, and in 2000 they went on their first date since 1974.
“We’ve been together 20 years and married for 18,” Richard wrote. “It seems like it has flown by. There are two things we agree on about our relationship: First is that if we had gotten married in our 20s, it probably wouldn’t have lasted, and second is that having a common history, experiences and common friends from our youth, helped a lot in re-establishing a relationship in our 40s.”
Ron Torezan was spread out on the floor of his bedroom doing his daily back exercises when he blurted out: “Dear God, I don’t want to be alone anymore. I want to be married.”
Ron admitted to himself that this seemed unlikely. He was in his late 50s, never married, never even engaged.
A year or two later he learned that the Irvington High Class of 1962 in Westchester County, N.Y., was having its 40th reunion. Ron was on the fence about going. So was another classmate, Linda Murphy. But they both decided to attend.
“When I saw her for the first time in many years, I said ‘Wow, she looked beautiful.’ And she was single!”
They caught each other up on their lives — Ron lived in Fairfax, Va., at the time; Linda in Charleston, S.C. — and after the reunion chatted on the phone.
Ron wasn’t sure what to do next.
“A friend told me ‘Ron, just ask her out,’ ” Ron said. “And that’s what I did. She accepted.”
Linda accepted Ron’s marriage proposal, too. They were wed on April 26, 2003.
“I finally had a companion to share my life with,” Ron wrote.
Linda and Ron lived in Northern Virginia. They traveled together to Italy. Each summer, they spent a week in the Adirondacks.
Wrote Ron: “The greatest gift she gave me was the meaning of love — to care about the well-being of someone.
“Alas, in July 2016, I lost the love of my life to cancer. She will always be in my heart. So looking back, it was a reunion well worthwhile and meant to be. The next one will be with her eternally.”
For previous columns, visit washingtonpost.com/john-kelly.