Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 3, 1967: A Day that Changed My Life

Dear Grandparents,
Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our normal routines that we only identify through the haze of time those days that have enormous influence in our lives. Friday, March 3, 1967 was such a day for me.

"Resolved: That the foreign aid program of the United States should be limited to non-military assistance."  This was topic that my partner, Margie Sussman, and I were prepared to argue when we traveled the ten miles to Mount Holly and Rancocas Valley Regional High School that day as members of the John F. Kennedy High School (Willingboro, New Jersey) chapter of the National Forensic League. Traveling to different high schools and colleges was a typical activity for Fridays during debate season. Students from several schools would meet at one school each Friday for these competitive debates which were judged for content and effectiveness. One side, pro or con was determined to have bested the other.

National Forensic League Chapter 1967
John F. Kennedy High School, Willingboro, New Jersey
Photograph from 1967 Gryphon Yearbook in my possession.
I am center front with partner Margie Sussman second from my left.
Terry Galvin is the young man in the far right of the photo.

After arrival, we were herded into a room and introduced to the RVRHS students who would be our guides for the day. They would be responsible for leading us to the various rooms scheduled for our debates which were presented to English classes. Earlier Mr. Brokaw, the resident debate coach, had recruited students from his classes to act as guides. Innocently sitting in his senior honors English class was Edward Kelly, not shy about volunteering to get out of class for a day. He was introduced as our guide.

Edward "Ed" William Kelly
Senior photo from  1967 Red Oak Yearbook
Rancocas Regional High School
Mount Holly, New Jersey

We enjoyed talking to each other as we moved from class to class. One of the members of our debate team, Terry Galvin, had attended grade school in Mt. Holly with some of the members of their team. As it was often done during that time, Ed asked him to find out if I would be willing to "go out." When word was received back through channels that I would, he called and asked me out. Suave and sophisticated in his approach, he asked if I would like to go out Saturday night. Not willing to be a push over, I countered "What would we be doing?" Without  missing a beat, Ed replied, "Let's run away and get married." Very much caught off guard, I just said no. Then Ed suggested the much safer bowling.

It is hard to imagine that it has been 48 years since that date. After 4.5 years of dating, 43 years of marriage, two children, two grandchildren, 30 years with the U. S. Navy, and 22 moves, I am still in love with the twinkle in his eyes. Today I am celebrating how a chance encounter changed our lives.



  1. Cecily! I've not seen or heard from you or Ed in years! I sent you email with my contact!

    Congrats, of course! But call me!