Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love Conquers All - Old Flames Rekindle Six Decades Later

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Love Conquers All - Old Flames Rekindle Six Decades Later

Article excerpt

Great love stories transcend age and time. Just ask Mary Lois Cannon and Edwin Ash. When they marry on Aug. 1 in Green Valley, Ariz., their wedding will be 61 years later than they had originally planned.

Their story begins in 1935, when they met as students - she at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, he at nearby Miami University of Ohio. Love blossomed, and the two became engaged. He couldn't afford a ring, so he gave her his watch.

After he entered medical school in Cincinnati, he hitchhiked back to Oxford every weekend so they could attend dances. "We never danced with anybody else," she says. "He was 'my' Ed." "Her" Ed even hitchhiked to Chattanooga, Tenn., to meet her parents. And she traveled to Forest, Ohio, to meet his family. So deep was their love that one afternoon when she was a senior, they walked along a street near his fraternity house and talked about getting married that same day. But her college refused to grant diplomas to married students, so they reluctantly waited. After graduating in 1937, she took a job as a chemist in Cincinnati, and he continued his medical studies. One evening, when he arrived at her parents' home to pick her up for a fraternity event, her mother refused to let her attend. "Perhaps they were worried about drinking," she says. Mrs. Cannon is discreetly vague about the breakup that followed, ending their three-year engagement. She later married a Presbyterian minister and gave birth to a son and a daughter. Dr. Ash married a music student, and they became parents of a son. Fast-forward to early 1998. Cannon, a longtime widow, was traveling around the world on the cruise ship Crystal Symphony. One evening she and a friend attended a singles party. "They always give prizes so people can get acquainted with other singles," she explains. …

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