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posted: 1/28/2013 12:23 PM

The Garlands celebrates anniversary with members' love stories

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  • Mary, a New York City girl, and Irwin Betz, a German country boy, became international pen pals, who met and fell in love in the picturesque backdrop of Bavaria's Black Forest on the back of a motorcycle, the first of many future rides together.

      Mary, a New York City girl, and Irwin Betz, a German country boy, became international pen pals, who met and fell in love in the picturesque backdrop of Bavaria's Black Forest on the back of a motorcycle, the first of many future rides together.
    Courtesy of The Garlands of Barrington

  • Mary and Irwin Betz

      Mary and Irwin Betz
    Courtesy of The Garlands of Barrington

  • While the Betzes crossed the Atlantic to find each other, Jim Lancaster met his future bride, Patti, in the sixth grade and told her, "I'm going to marry you someday." True to his word, Jim and Patti wed years later and enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage together.

      While the Betzes crossed the Atlantic to find each other, Jim Lancaster met his future bride, Patti, in the sixth grade and told her, "I'm going to marry you someday." True to his word, Jim and Patti wed years later and enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage together.
    Courtesy of The Garlands of Barrington

  • Jim Lancaster and his bride, Patti, on their wedding day.

      Jim Lancaster and his bride, Patti, on their wedding day.
    Courtesy of The Garlands of Barrington

 
Submitted by The Garlands of Barrington

The Garlands of Barrington, an award-winning continuing care retirement community, celebrates its 10th anniversary and commitment to the community with a tribute to its members in a photographic narrative exhibit titled "Commitment: Stories of Lasting Love."

The exhibit features inspiring stories of Garlands members' vows, love and devotion that span a lifetime, offering a rare, intimate glimpse at lasting love. The show will be on display at The Gallery at The Garlands, 1000 Garlands Lane, Barrington, from Valentine's Day through the end of April.

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The exhibit's portraits, taken by photographer Brian Warling, and short stories, as told by husbands and wives and written by Kathy Wolf and Mary Klest, feature 16 perspectives representing 823 years of commitment.

The stories take unpredictable twists and turns, like the one about the New York City girl and the German country boy who write to each other as international pen pals then meet in Germany, where they fall in love while motorcycling together through Bavaria's Black Forest -- the first of a lifetime of adventures.

They include high school sweethearts, chance encounters, rekindled hearts and brief courtships that led to a 57-year marriage.

There is a couple whose most heroic claim-to-fame after 58 years of wedded bliss is successfully surviving the '60s with teens, and a widower whose love lingers on through poetry ("Life is more than what we planned ... We saw how love could blossom and then we made it grow.").

"It's an honor and privilege to capture and share our members' precious memories, living examples and sage advice on the theme of commitment," says Dawn L. Kempf, The Garlands vice president of sales and marketing.

"As this is our 10th anniversary, we are humbled by the many anniversaries our members have celebrated and so pleased that they chose to continue to live their well-lived lives with us here at The Garlands."

"Commitment: Stories of Lasting Love" is free and open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, through the end of April.

For information, call (847) 304-1996.

The Garlands is a unique continuing care retirement community for people ages 55 and older that provides residents an uncompromising lifestyle in a resort setting with on-site assisted and nursing care as needed.

For information, visit www.TheGarlands.com.

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