That is a picture of me and Patricia talking a walk recently. It has been 26 wonderful years as husband and wife. Surprising?!? Many people that knew us when we met might think so . And some today are surprised that we are celebrating this milestone. We aren’t.

Patricia and I met in Morristown, NJ when we were loaned to AT&T by our operating companies to work on divesting the Bell System. We worked in different areas and had been in New Jersey for several weeks already. We got to visit home, New Orleans in my case, and Dayton/Fairborn in Patricia’s case, at least once a month.
On one of my trips home, a colleague, Martha Vinot, told me that her group would be moving to the building where my group worked and that her manager was someone I should meet. That happened the next Monday morning and Martha was right! Patricia was someone I should meet! Our temporary assignments went on for months and eventually turned into permanent jobs with AT&T. Our friendship turned into love and we were married on March 9 at the Madison Hotel in Convent Station, NJ, 26 years ago today.
We have had an interesting walk together over the years. Patricia and I determined from the beginning that we were committed to each other, and the work that we would need to do to keep walking together. I often reflect on something I heard a long time ago. A beautiful pearl is produced when some irritant enters the shell of a pearl and the pearl continuously covers the irritant with something that makes it smooth and less irritating to the oyster resulting in a beautiful pearl. We have been working on a pearl of our own for 26 years. And since no two pearls are alike, any married couple can produce their own.
I owe Martha Vinot a debt of gratitude for introducing me to Patricia. She has no idea how that one generous act has made my life so complete! And to Patricia, thank you for being my wife making a pearl out of me!