I met Sandy, my significant other, in kindergarten. We attended a parochial school together. Then we were classmates at a public high school—we even went to the freshman dance together. But, it was a friendship more than an infatuation, and as happens with many high school friendships, it was laid aside at the end of our school days. Sandy attended one college, and I went to another. She headed east to find a job, and I went west. We lost touch for awhile. Actually, we didn’t talk or see each other for nearly 50 years. A class reunion brought us back in touch, briefly, but it took another year for communication to begin. Social media gets the credit. I had posted on Facebook a photo of boathouses extending off the city pier at our hometown in the Finger Lakes in western New York. Sandy asked about it, and our conversations grew from computer messages, to texts, to phone calls and then to visits. Decades after our days in school together, a relationship grew. If you use the term loosely enough, I suppose you could call it a childhood romance … it just took us a half century to realize we were in love.

My wife, Anne, and I first met on the campus of Walsh College—as it was known then—shortly after a friend of mine had taken a job there and wanted to show me around the campus. Later that day, he asked my thoughts about his new home. It was all right, I told him, but could he tell me more about that student he introduced me to who was really cute. Our first date was a couple of weeks later at the Friendly’s restaurant at Belden Village, which not too long ago was razed to make room for Mission BBQ. I regret not stopping at the work site and asking for a brick from the Friendly’s rubble as a memento. The restaurant is gone; she’s still really cute.

Austin and I technically met in preschool. We also went to the same high school, but we never talked. We were at the occasional party together, seeing as though my best friend, Abby, is his cousin. It was at Abby’s sister’s graduation party in the summer of 2013 that Austin and I finally had a one-on-one conversation. We talked for an hour or more about anything and everything, and then I had to leave. I was surprised at how much we had in common, but timing wasn’t right for me then to try to pursue something. Six months passed and then Abby invited me, her sister and Austin to go to a bar for the night. He bought me a drink, we talked all night, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Josh and I both write for The Canton Repository. But we didn’t meet in the office. While I’m sure we passed each other on occasion, we worked different shifts and we sat on different sides of the newsroom with multiple partitions between us. No, we met on the softball field. It was 2006 when several of us Repository employees formed a slow-pitch softball team. The team didn’t win very many games, but I guess you could say Josh and I “hit” it off. We got married in July 2016 and are expecting our first baby in May. WEDDING PHOTO BY BOB ROSSITER

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