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Couples Share Their Stories of How and When They Met

Larry Bell and Pastor Carolyn Baskin were introduced to each other by Larry’s brother and his wife. Photo by Brendan Minto

[ Editor’s Note: Four years ago, Nadia Williamson from NWLA Bridal on Montana Ave, asked me to select several residents who had been married for many years to participate in a photo shoot. We put their photos and stories in our paper and she displayed the photos in her store window. Last fall, Nadia and I thought it would be fun to select couples who had been married for various numbers of years for another photo shoot to put into our February issue. This time I asked them to tell us how they met. Behind the lens was photographer Brendan Minto who did a terrific job. Nadia welcomed all of the couples who definitely enjoyed the experience. Their stories and photos are shared below. —Diane Margolin ]

By Pastor Carolyn Baskin-Bell

Larry Bell and Carolyn Baskin-Bell were united in Holy Matrimony on July 16, 1983. They met on October 18, 1981 at the home of Len and Janice, Larry's brother and sister-in-love. Carolyn's colleague, Gwen, urged Carolyn to meet this eligible bachelor whom she described as a "good person." After their introduction, the two shared a great friendship through telephone conversations and a few dates over the next couple of months.

In Spring of 1982, Larry and Carolyn began to spend more time together. On May 29, 1982, Larry presented Carolyn a promise ring. Carolyn inquired and wanted to know, "Where is this relationship going?" Two months later, Larry proposed and Carolyn said, "Yes!"

Forty years later, they still hold a strong friendship and partnership in marriage. As Carolyn explains, “We promote the three Cs: Communication with God and

one another, Compassion, and Compromise to maintain any relationship.” Their matchmakers still brag about their success 40 years later.


Char and Dick Lawrence

By Char Lawrence

We met at Hilton Carte Blanche Credit Card Co. in Hollywood. We were working the night shift while we both were going to college during the day. Dick was attending USC and I was going to Valley Junior College. He told my boss he would like to take me out and he told Dick that I would never go out with him unless he had a new car. So he went out and bought a used 1959 Chevrolet Impala convertible. He traded in his 1955 souped up Mercury and I told him later, "I would have loved that hot rod car."

We dated one year and were engaged for another year. We were married on June 23, 1962.

Hodge and Kelly Patterson

Hodge and Kelly recently celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary. The couple's journey began in 2005, when they crossed paths in Panama City Beach, Florida during their school years.

They tied the knot on January 22, 2011 at Reed Chapel on the campus of Samford University, where Kelly had attended college. The reception, filled with joy and laughter, took place at The Club, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama before they headed to Jamaica for their honeymoon.

Tess and Maurice Jordan

Tess and Maurice were groovin’ at The Grove last December near the Farmers Market in the photo shown to right.

Tess and Maurice Jordan, have been married 19-1/2 years. They met at the Hillcrest Country Club when Maurice became a sous chef and Tess managed the front office desk.

Kingsley and Joanne Fife

Kingsley and Joanne Fife are at the

beach for their morning walk. He

notes, “We've been married for 42

years and we still feel like newlyweds!” The couple met through mutual friends.


Steve and Gail Litvack

Steve and Gail Litvack actually met at a synagogue youth group when they were 15 years old. They both went to Venice High School, but didn't start dating until age 17. They will be married 57 years in August of 2024.


Pam and Scott Andrews

Scott and Pam met while working at the Santa Monica Family YMCA in 1995. They married in 1997. They have a passion for travel and enjoy visiting new places and exploring their surroundings.


Chris De Carlo and Evelyn Rudie

Chris and I met at the Santa Monica Playhouse, his first day back from Vietnam. He had been in our Actors’ Workshop session (ongoing since the Playhouse first opened its doors in 1960) before he was drafted, and it was the first thing he did when he returned from the war.

I had joined the class a few months previously. We were doing the Hot Seat exercise (popular at the time) where one actor sits in a pool of light and all of the other members of the class say something about them they wouldn’t ordinarily say. It was my turn to be in the Hot Seat. When it was Chris’s turn to comment, he got up and said, “This lady has the most wonderful smile. And her eyes light up with warmth. She is truly beautiful, inside and out.”

My father happened to be watching the class that night. Afterwards, as we were leaving, he said, “Now that’s a nice young man. He is the one for you.” And he was right.

We will celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary on August 24, 2024.

Emily Alvarez and Phil Gaimon

Our first Love Links couple, Emily Alvarez and Phil Gaimon, stop to share a cookie on a recent bike ride.

Emily shares, “Phil and I met early 2019. Technically, via social media (specifically Instagram), but we had many friends in common since we both ride bikes so it was really a matter of time until our paths crossed. We moved in together in January of 2020 and got married April 2022.”

See their wedding story in our July 2023 issue. Photo by Harrison Alpert


Mark and Qin Stubis

By Mark Stubis

Some loves just seem destined to be. I first heard about Qin from my parents when they returned from the trip-of-a-lifetime to China. "We found the perfect girl for you," they said. "She is a total romantic, quotes Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Keats, and just happens to be beautiful. Unfortunately, she's on the other side of the Earth."

Being a young pianist just out of Juilliard, where impossible challenges are part of the fun, I was undaunted. "I'll wait," I said. And, wait I did.

Five years later, when Qin left China and flew to the United States to pursue her master's degree, I made sure to be the first person she met, picking her up at the airport. Over the course of the next two weeks, we watched old movies, took walks in the sand at Fire Island, and talked about our very different lives: Hers, growing up in a Shanghai shantytown and mine, growing up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Of course, I fell in love with her just the night before she had to leave to attend a university 2,000 miles away in Arizona. I found myself waiting again, this time for two years, and luckily, my patience paid off.

Today, we've been married 28-1/2 years, are hopelessly in love, have two wonderful children, spend our time traveling around the country promoting her book, Once Our Lives, and are as happy as the proverbial clams that she loves. Qin has taught me that the best things in life truly are worth waiting for.

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