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Celebrating a life filled with love

Al McGaw and Markey Smith went to the same high school in Shelby, Ohio.

They both took a shine to the theatre and music, but not to each other. The way Al tells it, Markey was engaged and it surely wasn't to him.

Eventually, Al and the fiancÈ fought, the Lord stepped in, and Al and Markey ended up at the same dance. A mutual friend asked Al to walk Markey home and they ended up in the park, talking for hours.

And Al fell flat in love with that girl.

Sixty-five years later, those walks in the park have become shuffles in the living room, and long drives in the country satiate restless bodies.

Along the way, they've lived in countless homes in a dozen or so cities, worked a series of jobs and built a family like few others with their bare hands and overflowing hearts.

Their children's memories are filled with thoughts of the church solos (Al does a beautiful rendition of The Lord's Prayer), friends and family gathered at the McGaw house, and funeral flowers for anniversaries.

Al and Markey moved to Thomson a decade or so ago, picking a place near their son, Jim, to live the rest of their years.

Al's taken the house on Ware Street and rebuilt nearly every part of it -- some parts several times. His garage has become his workshop, the place where chairs are repaired, wooden statues are put back together, and mailbox posts are built from scratch.

Nowadays, he spends part of his days asleep in the easy chair, tilted back and dreaming to the sounds of classical music piped throughout the house -- sounds the McGaw children came to know through the years.

She's usually sitting in her chair next to him or sneaking a bite to eat at the kitchen table, a meal Al's undoubtedly made for his best girl.

Her oxygen tank is an ever-present companion now, the result of years of smoking and her right hand is curled from the arthritis that still stings. But her heart belongs to that man that fought for her and fell in love with her on that Ohio night.

We should all be that blessed 65 years from now.

Web posted on Thursday, October 28, 2004

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Temperature:53° F
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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01


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