Loretta and John Townsend, South Boston

This is Loretta and John, walking hand in hand around Castle Island last summer,  65 years after they first spotted each other on the Common. Back then, Loretta was a girl from East Boston, and John was a sailor from Indiana, stationed on the USS Salem.

Here’s their story:

John: “I came out of the Buddies Club with two other guys, and they just happened to be walking by.”

Loretta: “They were sailors, and we just said, ‘Oh, my, aren’t they adorable?’ They must have said the same thing about us! You know, the whistles and all of that. Ignored, of course, you know. Hard to get.

He called and said he wanted to see me again, and I said, ‘Not unless you have two friends,’ because I had two friends that I wanted to come along, and he said, ‘Fine.’ And that was that.”

John: “Seems like it was just yesterday. It went by too fast. Four daughters later and more grandchildren than I can count.”

Loretta: “Thirteen grandchildren. And 11 great-grandchildren.”

John: “We’ve had a beautiful life.”

Loretta and John were interviewed and photographed by story ambassador Kathy Whitehouse