Decide who really matters
Ben Bryant, 81, lives on the Upper West Side with his wife of almost 50 years, Elizabeth, who’s just a few years younger. They met in August 1967 when Ben was the lead in the musical Carousel and Elizabeth (known as Betsey back then) was in a supporting role. During a rehearsal, Ben spotted Betsey. “It was as though there was a pin spotlight on her and all the others in the room faded from view.” He asked her to lunch. With some reluctance, she accepted they went to the snack bar across from the theater. Ben calls it a “profound inner knowing.” He said, “I knew she was the one.” Later that day, on Ben’s way to the laundromat, he asked Betsey to join him. Under the glamorous fluorescent lighting, they had their first date. Ben says their relationship felt natural from then on…three months later they married. Check out these adorable true love stories from couples who knew exactly when they’d found “the one.”
Shape life around summer camp
In 1967 when she was 17, Fran Wallace got a summer job as a kitchen girl at the all-boys Camp Tosebo near her family’s summer cottage near Lake Michigan. It was Pancake Day in the dining hall and Fran, along with the other kitchen girls, got the syrup ready for the meal, but it spilled and ants were everywhere. That’s when former camper turned counselor Dave Walle stepped in to help. The two quickly realized they were both from Chicago where they went to rival high schools. Fran found Dave to be gentle in the way he showed her around and explained camp rules. Dave liked how Fran laughed at his jokes. As the summer progressed, their interest in one another grew. Halfway into the eight-week summer program, some counselors had to travel back to Chicago to pick up the next round of campers. Dave didn’t want to go. He wanted to be with Fran for an upcoming beach party. He said, “Once you started venturing into relationships you don’t particularly want them to stop. I did everything I could to stay.” Dave managed to stick around that weekend and he married Fran five years later. Ten years later, the camp closed. The Wallace’s still visited the family cottage on weekends and in the summer. Over the years, they maintained close bonds with former camp friends. On one visit they discovered the sale of the camp fell through and it was looking for new owners. Dave dreamed of owning Camp Tosebo but the timing wasn’t exactly right, financially speaking. Their daughter was starting college and their son was getting married, but the newfound empty nesters had been praying for a fresh community and active lifestyle and realized this could be it. Thanks to a conservation easement (an agreement not to develop the property), the Wallaces, along with three other couples, now own Camp Toesbo and rent it out to other families. In 2012, they moved to the camp for good where they volunteer regularly, gather as a community and enjoy evenings on the front porch. Now grandparents, Dave 68, and Fran, 67, recently purchased a Camp Tosebo onesie for the latest addition to their family.