The year was 1945. Dan Frye had just gotten out of the service and was visiting an acquaintance. It was a girl, but only a friendly dancing partner. Not a romantic interest.
“My sister invited him to come to my mother’s home and I was just sitting in the kitchen, having a glass of milk,” Ruth recalled. “I didn’t pay attention to him.”
Still, she remembers what was in her glass. And he’ll never forget that first meeting.
“She was a young little cutie,” Dan says.
The following weekend, he called and asked her out to a movie.
Ruth and Dan Frye were married two years later, at the Irish-American Society’s Lyric Hall on Park Street in Hartford.
She was 18 and he was 26. Both had jobs at The Royal Typewriter Company on New Park Avenue.
Children were still to come. The couple stayed a couple, enjoying youth and freedom for a while.
“In that first five years we had a wonderful time together,” Ruth said. “We had a lot of wonderful friends. We went to a lot of Red Sox games in Boston.”
Then their four children were born - two boys and two girls.
The family moved from Hartford to Newington Road in Elmwood, where they lived for the next 31 years.
Dan worked for Pratt & Whitney, then Command Aircraft, building helicopter blades.
He retired a year after the couple moved into a condominium in Newington, where they currently reside.
Now 94 years old, his body is ailing. Ruth, 86, lovingly cares for him, although she’ll never take the credit.
“We have absolutely wonderful friends who are so supportive of us. So are our children,” she points out. “We also have four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.”
This declaration perks up Dan, lost in his memories, grinning in his chair.
“Four? Already?” he asks.
The couple plays Bingo twice a week and runs all their errands, just the two of them. They visit the nearby Newington Veterans Hospital for Dan’s medical care.
“I think being honest with each other through all kinds of weather is most important,” Ruth says. “Whatever the circumstances may be, you accept it and get through it together.”
Life’s pleasures are found in family and friends. Both their daughters live nearby and visit frequently.
Robbin, who comes from Avon, gets teary-eyed when she talks about her parents and growing up.
“They always put us kids first,” she says. “If we didn’t have the money or means to do something we did something else. We always had fun.”
Everyone came together on Nov. 5, to celebrate Dan and Ruth’s 70th anniversary of marriage.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.