Life begins at 70.
Just ask Don Pinkham and Audrey Shultz, two septuagenarians who tied the knot last month at Friendship Manor, an affordable housing community in Isla Vista.
Pinkham, the 73-year-old head maintenance man at Friendship Manor, decided a year and a half ago to test the waters of the world of online dating. Despite his initial reservations about surfing the Web to find true love, he got a life-changing result.
“A resident of Friendship Manor helped me set up an online account on True.com,” said Pinkham. “He took a picture of me by the pool, I filled out the short profile, and within a few days, I got feedback from several women on the Web site.”
In fact, one of the respondents was a woman hailing all the way from Missouri, who was planning to fly out to California to meet Pinkham in person. That’s when fate intervened, however.
“One day, I got what’s called a ‘wink’ from a lady named Audrey on the site,” Pinkham said. “She sounded very interesting, and I responded immediately. We started talking regularly, so I called the woman from Missouri and told her that I had met someone else. I’m not the kind of guy who is going to lead on two girls!”
Clearly, Dapper Don made the right choice, and last Saturday, the happy couple was joined in holy matrimony next to the very pool by which Pinkham was photographed for True.com.
Shultz, who lived in Simi Valley, believes the chance encounter was truly kismet.
“It’s the only time I have ever clicked on one of those Web sites,” said the blushing bride. “I saw Don’s picture by the pool, and I was really shy about sending anything, so I just sent him a wink … and he responded.”
That response led to several phone conversations, and eventually a face-to-face meeting. The rest, as they say, is history.
As Shultz and Pinkham stood together, surrounded by family and friends, Pastor Bernard made the introduction. “It is my privilege to join together this young couple,” he said to laughter and applause by the residents and onlookers.
“I knew Don was a good fisherman,” said Pastor Bernard, “but I didn’t know he was so good at fishing on the Internet. He caught a good one, and he isn’t going to throw this one back!”
Several student volunteers from UCSB helped to cater and host the wedding, and the ceremony went off with just the planned hitch.
Friendship Manor marketing director Patricia Fabing was elated at the event’s success.
“It shows that seniors can have new chapters, new books, new lives … and all through the Internet,” said Fabing, who added, “I think that the term senior citizen needs to go away … It should be something like ‘active aging.’”
There is no doubt that Shultz and Pinkham are both aging actively, and they are proof that the power of the Web is not limited to Generation X.
Both Pinkham and the lovely Shultz have been married twice previously, but Pinkham quipped, “This will definitely be the last time!”
Congratulations, you crazy kids, and may you live another 70 amazing years together.
— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributor.