One day in 1975 my mentor at Day & Zimmermann and I went to Chicago to court the Rock Island Railroad for business. We took the head of Marketing – Newt Swain – and his boss to Jovan’s – a swanky restaurant – for dinner. I knew Newt from previous work when he was with USRA and it was our client.
About halfway through dinner Newt said his cousin was a grad student at the University of Pennsylvania, and could probably use a good meal -why don’t I give her a call.
The following weekend there was a party at Neil Buchanan’s house about 30 miles west of Philly. I called her in the morning and asked if she would like to go. She said yes. Then I asked if she had a car and would drive. Again yes, and so we went.
We stayed so late that we slept over in the living room.
On the way back to Philly the next morning I asked where she grew up. A little town in New Jersey. I know New Jersey – what town? After about three tries she finally said Hopewell. I said I hadn’t lived there for almost three years now.
We were an instant pair and remained so until her passing in 2013 – half of my life.
Shortly after Sharon and I met, we drove to Hopewell, NJ to visit her mother. And the other ladies living there – Grandmother ‘Bert’ Beth’s Swain, aunt Geraldine Smith, aunt Pat and husband John Cushman, and visiting aunt Heidingsfield.
While there her mother said Sal Asero was having an open house to exhibit his art. I knew Sal, so I asked if we could come along. There I introduced Sharon to Sal and his wife, and to Jay! Coleman’s sister, and to Carol Consalus and her son, who was catering the affair. Sharon, who grew up in Hopewell, did not know a soul there.