Every February 14 people have a reminder of how important it is to have somebody to love and somebody to love you. Some couples in the Quoddy area have celebrated a great many Valentine's Days together and were asked how they found their life partners.
Young love stays strong
Richard "Dick" and Cynthia Adams of Perry will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in June.
They met when they were seniors in high school. "I was in Calais and he was at Shead," recalls the former Cynthia Thompson of Robbinston. "The first time he saw me was when I was working with his mother at Seaboard Packing Company in Robbinston. He came in to see her, and there I was wearing one of those hats that completely cover your head. It's a wonder he didn't run away," she chuckles. "Then one of my friends went out with Dick's younger brother, and they came to my house one Sunday night when I was all ready for bed with blemish cream on. That didn't scare him away either."
"I thought he was nice," she says of her future husband. "He's just the same now."
Dick and Cynthia dated for three years, and he was in the U.S. Coast Guard when they decided to get married. "Reverend Leonard married us in the Sewall Congregational Church in Robbinston," she recalls of her June 16 wedding. "He was a small man with a powerful voice. My sister Barbara and Maynard Morrison stood up with us."
The Lake Road house where they raised their family, and still live, was built by Dick's father Herbert. "After his father died, Dick's mother Evelyn had to find work. She wound up working at a bank in Machias and staying there, so we moved into his parents' house."
"We had two children, Peter and Priscilla, and raised them there, but it's too big for the two of us now," she says of the Adams homestead.
Now retired from the Passamaquoddy Water Company, "Dick has been involved a lot with the Perry Planning Board and the Marion Transfer Station," she says of their retirement years. "We've been on three cruises, but I'm more a stay-at-home."
Her advice for newlyweds is: "You have to give a little and take a little in a marriage. That's what makes it successful. Don't hold grudges."
"Everyone has a down time, but we've been pretty happy."
Hard times make for lasting love
Myron Curtis and the former Elizabeth "Betty" Gardner of Edmunds recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
"It's been a long time, and I can't remember when we met," says Betty, 82, about their courting days. "He was in Dennysville, and I was in Whiting. I know I was about through high school when we got together. We didn't go to dances. We just went to each other's homes."
The couple was married at the Baptist parsonage in East Machias on January 12, 1952, and were blessed with four children. However, daughter Priscilla Joyce died from pneumonia when she was six months old, and Betty still feels responsible for the loss. "This was before there was a hospital in Machias, and I wasn't used to taking care of babies. I didn't realize how sick she was."
Life on a farm was hard, points out Betty. "We had animals, so we had to take care of them, and we had to butcher them. And when Myron worked in the woods, cutting pulp wood, I'd work with him."
Over the years, in addition to working on his own land, Myron worked in Eastport for the railroad, and the couple owned and operated C&M Fuels in Edmunds.
"It's hard work living in Washington County," observes Betty. "You do anything you can to eke out a living. We still have young steers and hens for laying eggs. Everybody likes those eggs."
"And Myron still works in the woods, even though he has a defibrillator," she adds. "But that's what keeps him going."
"Sometimes I sit and wonder, 'How did I get here?' because time goes by faster than I realized," observes Betty of her long life. "But I think I wouldn't do anything differently."
When Julie Blanch and Bob Brown attended Lubec High School the same year, they rarely met.
"He was a senior, and I was a freshman," Julie says with a smile. "So we both spent most of the time with our own classmates."
The two led very different lives for many years. Travel, early marriages, children and careers separated them, but the two native Lubeckers finally got to know each other when they came back to their beloved hometown, and last year they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary.
"We both have two adult children each," reports Julie. "That currently means we have nine grandchildren."
Julie is a farm girl with two horses, a pony, dogs, cats and animals that provide pork, beef and other meats that make for good cooking. "Dogs and cats love to get around the stove while I cook."
She's also busy filling in as manager of the Inn at the Wharf while the owners are away. She is a member of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and her favorite leisure-time activities are walking and horseback riding.
Bob went into a trade early on and is a carpenter who admits, "I like to cut wood for a hobby." He's currently helping coach the school's peewee basketball players and serves Lubec as the Route 1 mail carrier.
Julie and Bob prove that, while love may take a while to come, it can surely last when it does.