Tales from the altar

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    Sue and Doug Crouthers: Ode to ageless love

    Despite our age difference, my husband and I are very bonded, emotionally and spiritually. We believe the bottom line in a successful relationship is how you handle problems.

    I was a widow raising a son. One day, fate stepped in as I was ordering take-out at an empty restaurant. Suddenly, I sensed someone behind me. There stood Doug. He was selling advertising for a radio station. Neither of us had ever been to that restaurant before.

    We dated for six months and moved to Malibu in 1999. We married on a private Malibu estate on Aug. 17, 2002. My 22-year-old son was the best man; Doug’s 12-year-old daughter was my maid of honor.

    We’ve always been in-sync. Without knowing each other’s schedules, we arrive home within minutes of each other. Or, sometimes, literally walk in as the other is phoning.

    This poem I wrote called “Love” describes us:

    Love is like a golden thread

    that connects us heart to heart.

    No matter what the distance

    we will never be far apart.

    I’m so grateful for the love

    that you have shown.

    Ours is the greatest love

    that I have ever known.

    Sue is a floral designer in Malibu as well as a private chauffeur. Doug is an executive sales trainer for an infomercial production company in Thousand Oaks. He is also an aspiring actor.

    Richard and Judy Segal: Proof that love-at-first-sight lasts

    Former Malibuites Richard and Judy Segal fell in love at first sight at the famed Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, on New Year’s Eve, 1976. At the time, Judy was a flight attendant for Trans World Airlines, getting ready to leave for Hawaii the next day. Richard, a Beverly Hills attorney, decided begrudgingly to meet some friends for an early New Year’s toast. Reluctantly, Judy showed up to meet the same group of friends-and the rest is history.

    They were together for the rest of the old year and into the new one, when Richard invited everyone back to his condo for a bite to eat. Judy, whose family hails from Naples and Rome, whipped up a quick pasta for the group. He thought it was too good to be true-she could even cook!

    But at 3 a.m., when she announced she was going home, he knew he had to find her again. She thought she would never hear from him because he was leaving the next day for Palm Springs for some R&R.

    He did indeed contact her, and they were together for six weeks when Richard invited her on a business trip to Las Vegas, knowing he was going to marry her there. She said yes, and brought a little wedding outfit, just in case. They were married at a small Nevada chapel, and 27 years later, they are almost finished educating their three children, Philip, 21, Matthew, 17, and Rachel, 16. They are living proof that love-at-first-sight and a quick courtship can last.