Soundtrack of Life: An occasional series of columns about music mirroring life

Couple so happy together after 50 years

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After 50 years of marriage, Randy and Sharon Berridge say it's work to stay happy together.

Me and you and you and me

No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be

The only one for me is you and you for me

So happy together

— The Turtles

Had the engine turned over 50 years ago, the newlyweds might have been another statistic.

After that first serious marital spat, Sharon Berridge bolted from their Indianapolis apartment. Destination: Mother's.

But Randy Berridge was ready. Behind the wheel of their '63 Olds, she saw the distributor cap he had removed from the motor, preventing her getaway.

Their eyes met. And they laughed.

It was the perfect metaphor: His impromptu turn as a mechanic was a reminder that marriage requires maintenance.

And she knew this, too: Randy wasn't going to lose the redheaded University of Evansville sorority girl who had almost gotten away before.

They'd dated five months before calling it quits. Randy got an earful from one of Sharon's girlfriends, who predicted they would reconcile within a week.

She was wrong. "About a week later," Randy clarified, "we were not back together pinned [in a steady relationship]. We were engaged."

Sharon Crawford was pretty, smart. And Randy was a fun guy with a winning smile. The college juniors couldn't wait to tie the knot. When Sharon's parents asked whether they could wait until graduation, they said no.

So Sharon's folks feathered their basement for the lovebirds. Instead of waiting until they graduated the following year, they exchanged vows that Aug. 18, 1963.

Both worked while finishing their degrees.

Still, "we were just happy to be together," he says.

Yet, as they learned to go through life in tandem, they had to learn to ride through the marital bumps.

Money. Learning to budget while living paycheck to paycheck. Early on, they took responsibility for the checkbook. Sharon, who minored in bookkeeping, kept them on track. Control the money, not the other way around.

Children. Mendy, came along four years later; followed by Lynn. Sharon became a homemaker, and Randy, then a rising executive with AT&T, often traveled. They were intentional about carving out couple time.

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THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

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