Bob and Evelyn’s Seven-Decade Dance
In swinging 1940s Hawaii, an eager young sailor courts a trailblazing woman who dreams of joining the Navy herself. The attack on Pearl Harbor upends their lives and solidifies a romance that lasts sixty-seven years.
“There’s two kinds of histories,” Evelyn says, leaning forward feebly from the deep recess of her armchair. “There’s history and herstory. Big difference.”
Bob settles back into his matching lounger and smiles. He’s heard this before.
“His deals with wars and sports. Herstory is a more domestic story.” She pauses. “It’s changing though.”
If any two people can confirm that, it’s Bob and Evelyn. Married for sixty-seven years, they’ve witnessed the ebb and flow of the social tide, tugging it in their own small ways like little moons.
Now, it’s September 2010, and they spend their afternoons dozing in their assisted living apartment in Williamsburg, Virginia, surrounded by pill bottles, knitting patterns and portraits of grandchildren. But amid the usual clutter of old age, certain artifacts—a Chinese carving, a Panamanian spear, a framed war medal—hint that these ninety-year-olds have not always led quiet lives.
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