Love is what connects us all. When we here at GrandPad work tirelessly to connect seniors to their loved ones, we know how meaningful a moment can be, and how cherished every photo, every call, every sentence truly is. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring you the first of many installments in our series of Senior Love Stories that feature real GrandPad owners and seniors connected with GrandPad detailing those vivid moments of love that connected them with their future spouse at once, and forever.
The son of a Ukrainian immigrant and a Greek immigrant, Paul Peters was truly the epitome of The American Dream. Growing up in Minneapolis, where his parents moved once they married, Paul ran track, played basketball, and worked after school at a pharmacy for 25 cents an hour, which he fondly remembers used to be enough for an entire trip to the grocery store.
After World War II Paul returned to Minneapolis and attended St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church. One day after service he spotted a beautiful young lady, Pauline, playing ping-pong with a priest in the rec room. Wanting to get to know her, he asked her to play, then promptly trounced her by 16 points. “What a horrible thing I did to her,” he recalls. With a twinkle in his eye, Paul exclaims, “I should’ve let her win!”
Pauline would later tell Paul that she went home that evening and informed her mother that she had “just met the most conceited, arrogant man [she’d] ever met in [her] life.” But fate wasn’t through with Paul and Pauline. Weeks later, Paul grabbed lunch at a café that Pauline’s father owned, unbeknownst to Paul. He saw the apple of his eye across the restaurant, and stumbled over and bashfully asked her out on a date. After some playful convincing, she said yes.
Only a few weeks in, Paul knew Pauline was the gal for him. He bought an engagement ring and kept it in his coat pocket every day, waiting for the right time. Every evening after work when Paul returned home, his brother would tease him, “did you ask her yet? Did you?” Finally, one Sunday, he pulled over on the way to Church and said to her, “Do you want to get engaged?”
“Well, do you?” she calmly replied.
“I’m asking you!” He managed to spit out. After a quick meeting with Pauline’s father to ask his blessing, the two were engaged. They married on February 27th, 1949, and have been married for more than 66 years.
Now Paul and Pauline have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild, Will. His daughter Carol lives with her family in Charlotte, and as Paul and Pauline can’t travel much she sends her parents (now Gawkie and Gommers to the family) plenty of pictures and updates on Paul’s GrandPad. “Oh, I have hundreds of pictures on that GrandPad,” Paul muses. “I don’t know how they get stored, but they do!”
Paul also loves sending voice emails through his GrandPad to stay in touch with his kids and grandkids. With a computer he always had too much difficulty typing. Remembering when he briefly owned a PC, Paul states, “It’s a little [key]board. It’s hard.”
One thing Paul can’t get enough of? Solitaire, and the other fun games on his GrandPad. He laughs when recalling how much time he spends on it. Mischievously, he recounts how often Pauline has to remind him to do housework because he’s so immersed in Solitaire or another game on his GrandPad. “You’ll never be bored” if you get a GrandPad, he notes. “Of course, you’ll get in trouble with your wife every once in awhile.” With a love spanning nearly seven decades, though, we think Paul and his wife will only grow closer as they continue to thrive and reconnect with family using their GrandPad.