Couple meets again at 40th school reunion and marries a year later

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John Rafter and Elaine Leviness graduated from Wicomico Senior High School in 1965.  The 414 members of the class scattered — to college, trade schools and jobs. Elaine left for art school in Baltimore, John to college in North Carolina.

“I made it to most of my class reunions,” said John. “I was always curious to see what people were doing.”

“I didn’t go to any,” said Elaine. “I think it took me 40 years to get over high school.”

She graduated from college, married “just long enough” to have two children; earned a master’s degree, worked in education and raised her boys.

John was called to Vietnam, trained as a medic, later got a degree and traveled Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan and India.

“Reunions are a strange thing,” he says. “Sometimes you have nothing in common with your best friends from high school, and the people you barely knew; now you have all kinds of things in common.”

In 2005, the class of ’65 planned to celebrate 40 years. John was on the reunion committee; Elaine made the trip.

He called in October, on his way to a scuba trip in the Keys; they had dinner.  He called on the way home. Then they traveled between Maryland and Florida.

“We were trying to figure out how to spend more time together. John said ‘well, one way we could see each other more is if we get married.’ It was the worst proposal in the world.”

They marvel at their parallel lives: they’ve lived in the same Baltimore neighborhood, visited the same vacation spots. John’s best friends now live in the house where Elaine’s mother grew up. “Maybe the time was finally right – our parallel lives finally crossed,” said Elaine.

From a story by Jackie Jennings in the Delmarva Daily Times, Salisbury,Maryland.

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