CHARLOTTE – Ruth and Bruce Driscoll celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day. The couple lives at Waltonwood Cotswold, an assisted living facility in south Charlotte.
They shared the story of how they met.
As a young woman, Ruth found herself with six days off work. She and a friend took the opportunity to leave Louisiana and venture to the Florida Gulf Coast to spend the week at the beach.
While enjoying lunch one afternoon, they asked a local where was the best place for someone their age to go dancing. The answer was emphatic – The Piccadilly.
Ruth and her friend went that evening to check it out. Behind them in line, waiting to get in, were a group of friends, which included Bruce, a Marine temporarily enlisted in the Navy to attend flight school.
They caught each other’s eye, talked once inside the club and ended up dancing together all evening. The next day, Ruth picked up Bruce. They spent their first date walking barefoot along the beach.
That was the beginning of their 61-year adventure. Or as Bruce puts it, “I picked a dilly at Picadilly.”
Ruth laughs when people ask her for wisdom about what makes a marriage last so long.
Referring to Bruce’s time spent away on tours with the Marine Corp during his 29-year career, she joked, “If we had lived straight, together, 61 years, we might not be together.”
“Stick with it,” Bruce said. “As you get older, up into 60 and 70, it’s much better. You’re glad you did it. During those years, we had a number of times that we were not very friendly with each other. They got less and less, the longer we stayed together.”