On December 4th of 1975, Nancy received a phone call from a friend, Grace. “Nancy, I’ve got this guy I want you to meet.” Grace had just sold the gentleman’s house for him, and knew that Nancy and he would be a great fit.

“Well, I told her I wasn’t interested,” said Nancy, “Not everybody is a free spirit like Grace. But she wouldn’t let it alone. She must have called me 4 times that day begging me to meet him.” Instead, Nancy headed home, and was in her dressing gown when she got another call from Grace, then another, this time asking her to come down to The Plank House, a Connecticut restaurant and club they used to frequent. “She told me there was this great band that I just had to come see. So, I got dressed and grudgingly drove there.” She expected to find Grace sitting at a table by the band; instead, she found her standing at the bar.

“There’s Grace, and right next to her there’s this tall guy, I mean, knock dead, blonde and grey long haired, tan – on December 4th, he’d just gotten back from the islands!” she giggled. “So, I go park myself by them, and she goes around from me to the other side of him and says, “Nancy, meet Jack Bell.” He put out those gorgeous manicured hands and I thought ‘Oh dear, I’m in deep now!’”

“We chatted there for a while and everybody talked and everybody laughed, then I said “Well, gotta go!” and Jack said “Go?! I just told the gal to get us a table in there for dinner. Stay for dinner!” and I felt like I didn’t know what to do. So… I stayed for dinner.” Nancy stopped talking for a moment at this point, but finally said, “I just can’t. Can’t explain it. He was just… charming. Grace was sitting with us, and when we finished dinner, he invited us over to listen to the music. We sit down, and suddenly Grace was gone,” Nancy said with a chuckle. “We listened to the band, and we danced to one song, but it was getting late so I told him I had to go home.” Nancy made her way to coat check, and out of The Plank House and into her car. “I thought I was by myself! All of a sudden, I look out my window and he’s running after my car, his trench coat blowing in the wind.” Nancy paused here to let out a big sigh and say “Glorioski!” a favorite saying of hers. “And that was the night I met Jackie.”

Nancy and Jack were married on December 30th of 1976, just over one year after they met that fateful night. “It’s amazing. We think about it now, and it was just ‘that far’ from not happening at all!” What if she had said ‘No, Grace, I’m staying home.’

40 years later and the two are more in love than ever. “You truly don’t know how much you can love someone ‘til you’ve done it,” Nancy said wistfully. “You really don’t. You think you love someone as much as you ever could then 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, now 40 years have gone by and you can’t imagine how wonderful it is to share that much of your life with someone. You just become each other’s other part.”

The pair moved to the Gulf Coast in the mid-eighties and never looked back. They now reside near the beaches of Gulf Shores where Jack, to this day, on the eve of his 90th birthday, is the on-air disc jockey for WHEP1310. “He was on the radio when I met him and he’s on the radio now. I used to listen to him then, and I still do.”

We took Nancy and Jack to the Swift-Coles Historic Home in Bon Secour, Alabama to document their undying love. Aren’t they the sweetest? They are a wonderful example to all married couples. “The most important thing is to marry someone you love to talk to, that’s what stands the test of time.”

Vendors:

Photography - Southern Grace Photography – www.southerngracephotographyandevents.com

Venue – Swift-Coles Historic Home – www.swiftcoleshistorichome.com

Nancy’s Makeup & Shoot Styling – Jillian Jensen Holt – www.jmuah.com