” We never run out of conversation,” said John and looked adoringly across the table at his wife. “We’ve lived long enough to have a lot of stories.”
“And we’ve lived long enough to tell each of them a number of times” said Jackie and threw back her beautiful head with a laugh.
John and Jackie were at the table beside me on a quiet night at the Brick House. They live in Itchy Ankle (“112 years in the same house between us,” said John.) but they hadn’t eaten at this restaurant in the last 20 years. “We usually go out in Annapolis or DC” John said, explaining that they’d had car trouble that day, hence the decision to stay close to home. He is 88 and Jackie is 83. They were each enjoying a gin martini. Jackie started with oysters and called for hot sauce. John had cream of crab soup and blackened swordfish.
“We met as art students at the Corcoran, ” said John. “I still tell her she is beautiful.” She still is. He’s not too bad himself.
“He put in the man hours–5550 of them,” said Jackie. “John did the fabrication.”
“Do you always work in stained glass?” I asked.
“No, we work in every medium,” said Jackie. “I wrote and illustrated the Peterson Guide to Shells.”
“Are you celebrating something special?” I asked
“Just life,” said Jackie ” Just living.” They both laughed.
Throughout the meal, they looked at each other and smiled. They supplied each other with word here and there when remembering was hard. They were lively in their language, enthusiastic in their reminiscences about past travels, creations and triumphs, and curious to learn about me.
“You made our night,” said John as we ended the evening with hugs.
“You really made mine,” I told him “It’s a tonic to see you together.”
“Our doctor says we’re cute,” said Jackie and laughed again “I like that.”
See more pictures of the BWI crab here
Read more about the BWI crab here.
Buy Jackie’s guide to Shells here.