On August 20, Cynthia and Dave Brian returned to the Sidney location where they met 54 years ago — a meeting that led to more than 50 years of marriage.
On Aug. 15 this year, the couple, from California, decided they would return to the Sidney International Ferry Terminal — where they had their first conversation as they and their families waited for the ferry to Washington State 54 years ago.
Cynthia’s family was waiting in their car and Dave had begun talking to her sister when he saw her and her father walking together.
“She came walking down the dock with her dad and, oooh …” he laughed, remembering back to those first moments.
As they were the first in line to get on the ferry, he said, the conversation flowed and it was easy.
“The two of us just talked the whole way across. We just hit it off,” said Cynthia.
She said her father took a photo of the group and they have held onto that photo and never looked back.
Once off the ferry and having returned to their respective homes, maintaining communication took effort — she was from southern California, he from central California.
However, they said they wanted to make the effort and so they began to write letters to one another every day and would meet up when they could.
“I thought we were each going to go our separate ways after that. I didn’t think I’d see him again,” she said.
After getting off the ferry, Cynthia said her dad tried to lose him, going through the freeways all the way down to Millersylvannia State Park in Washington State.
This didn’t stop Dave. He followed her into the park, camping with them the first night. Cynthia’s family then went home, while Dave’s family visited his grandmother.
“When they would catch up with us on the freeway, my little brother, he was nine at the time, he would hand peanuts through the windows, from car to car to whoever was driving,” she said, laughing at the fond memory.
Dave later introduced a friend to a cousin who also lived in southern California. The goal was to have them hit it off, enabling Dave to drive down with his friend to double date with his cousin and Cynthia — yet another way of trying to stay in contact with the girl he had met in B.C.
“Then we’d drive all night Sunday night to get back to San Jose to go to work Monday morning,” he said.
When Dave later told Cynthia he was moving to southern California, she sent him a Dear John letter.
“She didn’t want to be responsible for me moving down and then it doesn’t work out,” he said.
The relationship, of course, worked out and they have now been happily married for 50 years.
Last week was the first time Cynthia and Dave have been back to the Anacortes ferry terminal since that fateful day 54 years ago.
They were excited to re-enact the scene.
“It’s exciting. Everything’s so different now then it was back then,” said Cynthia.
For them, the secret to marriage is acceptance.
“You just have to accept each other for who you are and not have high expectations for perfection,” she said.