Did you listen to Episode 96 of The Darlington Podcast: Love by the Lakeside: Darlington Alumni Love Stories? In the episode, Chief Advancement Officer Julie Lucas ('97) chats with Karley ('16) and Seth ('16) Parker in celebration of Valentine's Day. The Parkers share their own love story that began in Mr. Hudson's freshman chemistry class, and then they read submissions from other Darlington alumni who are also married to Darlington alumni. It's a sweet celebration of love by the Lakeside!
Check out some of our alumni love story submissions below and stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this blog series!
ATB (Budd '14) and Wyatt Miller ('14)
Married date: March 6, 2021
Darlington story: “We started dating right after the first snowpocalypse of 2014 and then there was another mini snowpocalypse right before Valentine’s Day. As we were planning our first Valentine’s together, he told me we could go anywhere in Rome for dinner. At that point, I was confined to the dorm due to the roads being bad, but somehow a day student had gotten Zaxby’s for someone else in the dorm. The smell of their Zaxby’s smelled so good that I insisted our Valentine’s dinner be at Zaxby’s.”
Advice: “Never stop going on dates with each other; it doesn’t have to be fancy, but just have a time where y’all can go out together.”
Kay (Wyatt '63T) and Langdon (Lang) Cheves ( '60, LD '12)
Married date: Aug. 3, 1968 in the Darlington Chapel. "While I was attending Darlington, I witnessed the construction of it and attended chapel my senior year upon its completion."
Where we met: "We never officially met while I was at Darlington, but I knew who she was mainly because she was the prettiest girl in Rome and her brother, Alex (‘61), idolized me and wanted me to be his brother-in-law."
When did we start dating: "Fall of 1966. Kay was a senior at Converse College (now University) and I was getting ready to go for basic training in the Army."
Advice: "Read the fine print in your marriage certificate. Back in our day, it included 'to honor and obey.' To honor was not a problem, but being told for 50+ years that I promised to 'always obey' gets a little old."
Allison (Hunter '79, LD '14) and Jeff Brooks ('79)
Married date: Aug. 20, 1983
Darlington story: “We didn't actually 'meet' on the first day of class in 1977, but Jeff did see me and found out who I was, because on my very first day as a boarding student at Darlington, I was walking to class and fell UP the steps going from South Hall to Wilcox. I lost all of my books in the tumble (this was before backpacks). Jeff just happened to be crossing my path when the fall happened. When I tell this story, everybody assumes that Jeff stopped, helped me gather my books, and made an introduction, but that is not what happened. I was so embarrassed and nervous (being my first day and not knowing a soul), I gathered up my books in a hurry and sped away as fast as I could. I didn't even realize who was around and watching the whole catastrophe. We started dating on Sept. 25, 1978. Our first date was a James Bond movie at the DeSoto Theater. It wasn't common for a dorm student ('dorm dirt') and a day student ('day dog') to date, but we managed to break the code. We never had any classes together, but we would always meet in between classes in Porter Hall and sit on the stoop next to the lockers in front of Sally Rudert's math classroom. We both went on to Auburn together and got married in 1983. Two interesting facts that we attribute to how we were meant to be are that our daughter, Kendall ('08), was born on our seventh wedding anniversary, and our son, Hunter ('10), was born on the anniversary of our first date. Darlington relationships are the BEST!”
Chris (Roberts '87, LD '19) and Tim Morgan ('87, LD '17)
Married date: June 2, 1991
Darlington story: "We met in seventh grade and started dating in tenth grade. Our first date was to the Coosa Valley Fair and neither one of us could drive!"
Madge (Brown '84) and Cooper Crawford ('83)
Darlington story: "We met in the Lower School - I came to Darlington in fifth grade, and he was in the sixth grade. We started dating Thanksgiving of 1993 after we reconnected at his 10-year Darlington reunion in October - thanks Carol and Sherral! We dated for about six weeks, got engaged, and then married in March of 1994 (his parents did the same thing after meeting at a wedding!) We have three wonderful sons (Asa, Will, and Hank), a sweet Golden Retriever named Laney, and we will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary this March - when you know, you know!"
Advice: "Our advice would be to laugh (a lot), communicate, and show grace to one another in all things."
Leigh (Beninato '00) and Joe Holmes ('00)
Married: Aug. 1, 2009, at Morris Chapel
Darlington story: They first met in seventh grade and started dating their senior year (2000).
Advice: "Make each other laugh."
Danielle (Joyce '95) and Alex Ezell ('94, LD '20)
Married date: Feb. 6, 1999
Darlington story: "We met the first week of school in 1991. The story I like to tell is that on the first Wednesday of the first week of school, I saw Danielle walking through the breezeway between what was then South Hall and Wilcox Hall. She was headed up to the Science Building. I went on to get lost in Porter Hall but eventually found my way to the Science Building also. I was looking for Mrs. Candler’s Biology class. When I walked into the room late for class, Mrs. Candler was talking to the class, but I was able to sneak in without her noticing. There was only one seat left. Turns out it was right next to Danielle. I didn’t have my book or a pencil or any paper. I kept asking Danielle what page we were on, could I borrow this, could I borrow that, what’s your name, etc. She kept shushing me and telling me to be quiet. Eventually, Mrs. Candler got tired of my distractions and told me that if I 'wanted to talk to that pretty girl next to you' I should wait until after class. Danielle was mortified. I was smitten. We’ve spent nearly every minute together since that day."
Advice: "My advice about relationships is driven by the fact that I’ve been in the same relationship since I was essentially a child. We are not the same people now that we were 30+ years ago nor that we’ll be in the next 30+ years. I describe it like two lines moving up and down from left to right. Like you’d see in a waveform on some oscilloscope. At some points, those lines are close together. Things are easy. You’re happy. At some points, those lines are far apart. It’s hard. You’re not happy. But, if you can keep the lines moving to the right, keep working, stay calm, they will eventually come back together. Weathering those tough times is not easy but it is tempered by knowing that it can’t always get harder. Eventually, the lines bend back around."