Patsy said she had her eye on Bill from the first day she started working at the glass factory in December 1958. He was the tall and muscular foreman on the factory floor, and the son of the factory’s owner. Patsy was one of the new typists in the typing pool. Despite many a flirtatious glance between them, it was months before Bill asked her out to the movies. Instead of icecream or popcorn, he had bought her a bunch of dark red grapes. But as they had not been washed, she let them rest on her lap while they watched Ben Hur. She was in awe of Charlton Heston, and fancied Bill looked a lot like him. They hit it off immediately, going to the dance hall every Saturday night and the movies on Friday nights. They married in the Spring of 1960.
Patsy and Bill have since had 54 happy years together. They have two children and four grandchildren and have always been inseparable. “Best friends” is how Patsy described their relationship. “As a family, we did everything together: sailing in the summer, skiiing in the winter.” When the factory was sold many years later, Bill began to import leather goods from Italy, and the family travelled to Italy together every year to source new supplies.
Patsy’s voice is flat and she speaks matter-of-factly. “The man I married is gone, but my husband is still here. He is withdrawn and sleeps a lot of the time, and doesn’t talk much. There are moments when I have him back, but they are brief and rare. I miss the way we were.”