Melanie Young, 57, is big on reunions. She’s planned three at her high school in Maryland. “Everyone I know — whatever age they are — if they’re single, I say ‘Go to your reunions!'” That’s because 17 years ago, at a high school reunion, Melanie’s life changed forever for the better.
In 1973, Melanie Blair was a “hippie art student” in Frederick, Maryland. She was friends with Dale Young, a boy in the band. The night of graduation, they became something more. They spent beach week in Ocean City and most of the summer together. Then, they broke up and he went off to the Air Force. She saw him the following summer — but he was with another girl.
Then 20 years went by.
Melanie got out of school, married and divorced, lived in Canada and California, and eventually settled in Virginia. Dale got out of the Air Force, moved back to his hometown. They met again at their 20th high school reunion, but he was with a date. Melanie said, “I asked him to dance and he said no.”
Two years later, on the eve of her 40th birthday, single and living in a very expensive part of northern Virginia, Melanie decided to transfer her job to Maryland, and moved back to her hometown just in time for her high school’s “40th birthday reunion.”
Dale was alone. They spent that evening together and the next night went out. That was late August, they married the following January.
When Dale — who everyone thought was a confirmed bachelor — told his widowed grandmother he was marrying, she took off her wedding band and handed it to him. “Use that to marry Melanie,” she said.
The couple wed in a simple ceremony at the courthouse. They went to lunch, then went to tell their parents.