Was it charm? Was it a sense of humour? Was it good looks? When Doug Stanford was asked what he thought the reason was that he caught Carol’s eye more than five decades ago?
“I don’t know, she always liked convertibles, and I always had a convertible,” he laughs. I was driving a 1967 Impala convertible, I bought that pretty new.”
Kidding aside, there was a bit more to the story. Doug was long out of high school and working as an apprentice plumber for Bloxom Plumbing. Carol had moved from the Acadia Valley area to Stettler and then Drumheller and was working for AGT (Telus).
Carol recalls that one of their first meetings was at a laundromat and figures Doug and his friends might have come in because there were a few girls there at the time. She does admit he was a big, handsome brute.
None the less they hit it off.
“Back then, I used to play a lot of fastball, and we would have a lot of parties, so we had a large group of friends, it was a pretty big thing in those days,” he said.
Among their friend group, Doug was one of the last hold outs. While many of his friends were married around 21 or 22, he was about 25. They had a two-year courtship, which included a few nights cruising around in said convertible. They married in 1969.
Doug said it was a tradition in those days to leave for the honeymoon right from the reception, and that’s what they did. They headed out on a road trip through BC and the United States. Travelling was something they have continued to do throughout their married life.
He continued working for a couple of years as a plumber. He then became a steamfitter and began working on building gas plants. This put him out on the road for while. They were able to save up and buy a house and then build a home.
After Carol left AGT, she went back to school and studied to be a hairdresser. She worked at Marg’s Coiffures and then bought the business.
They have two sons, John and Shane, and a daughter, Shannon. They have three grandsons and a three-month-old great granddaughter.
When asked what the secret to a lasting marriage? He said it is having a partnership and trying to find a mutual agreement.