Rosemary, 77, and Don, 82, were living the single life in New York City when they met at a cocktail party. They dated on and off for a year before getting married on May 20, 1961. They would later move to Ohio, Virginia, Chicago and Houston before retiring in Mooresville to be near family. Rosemary tells their story.
Big City: I was working for WFMY TV in Greensboro when a roommate asked me to go job hunting with her in NYC. Just for fun, I interviewed for jobs with her and got an offer from CBS Radio. She didn’t secure a job, but I took the opportunity and moved to the city alone. After a few months at CBS, I learned Time Inc. offered $25 more a month and started with the Life Magazine circulation department.
Island life: That summer I rented a vacation house on Fire Island with six Australian girls. We went to a cocktail party where Don was the center of attention, singing and playing guitar. He’d walked away from a promising TV career in Cleveland to take a job with a coated fabric company. So, in addition to being handsome and sought-after, he was very smart, which attracted me more than anything.
Living the dream: Over the next year, we broke up several times but realized we just couldn’t stay apart. He proposed by writing “Will you marry me?” on a napkin during lunch at Horn and Hardart cafeteria, which was across the street from Life Magazine. We were married in Greenwich Village and moved into a rent-controlled apartment on Washington Square.
No need: One of our two daughter keeps asking me to watch “Mad Men,” but I lived through it and don’t need TV to revisit that time. Hilary Trenda
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