Jack and Barbara Moro

November 2016

The J.B. Evans couple recall their chance meeting, the Sadie Hawkins and their journey in love

For some, falling in love is a “love at first sight experience”, while for others it’s more like a journey, something that begins with a small attraction and builds and builds until wedding bells are heard and many anniversaries are celebrated. Case in point: the enduring and happy marriage of Jack and Barbara Moro of J.B. Evans Fashions and Footwear.

When I asked Barbara if I could interview her and her husband and feature their story in the “How We Met” section of Bayview, Barbara responded with a long drawn out pause, “...Well, I don’t think our story is really newsworthy,” she confessed. She was wrong.

Jack and Barbara met in high school when they were both fifteen. Sharing a couple of classes together they happened—by chance—to sit beside each other and enjoy each other’s company. “My first attraction to Jack was more physical than anything,” Barbara confesses, while Jack says he appreciated Barbara’s sense of humour and her beautiful smile.

Other opportunities to see each other arose when groups of friends would hang out together and there was the occasional high school dance. Jack admits these dances weren’t all that successful when it came to asking a girl out on a date. “Basically the guys would walk around the gym and check out the girls, but that was as far as it would go. We were too shy. I was too shy.”

A year later, and still no progress in the dating department, Barbara finally took matters into her own hands. At the annual Sadie Hawkins dance she summoned up the courage and asked Jack to go to the dance with her. Jack says that this was one of the “sparks” in their relationship. It showed that she was interested in him and he now had a chance to show his interest in her.

They began to go to football games and after game parties, dances at the Fort William Gardens and for long walks together. “Money was tight and we didn’t have a car, so yes, we walked everywhere,” Jack says. And it turned out to be a good thing. Walking from place to place meant more time to spend with each other and more time to fall in love.

But love, if it is true love, endures all tests of time.

After a short engagement, Jack and Barbara married when they were twenty-one, a young age by today’s standards but average back then. Jack set his mind on pursuing a career as a physical education teacher but needing the money to put himself through university he took on a part time job on a trial basis, working at Barbara’s family’s store with his father-in-law Jack Evans.
Soon Jack found his niche in life. “I enjoyed the whole experience. It was a comfortable working environment and there were nice people to work with.” And his father-in-law treated him like a son. “He was a good mentor. I learned a great deal from him. I learned to put the customer first and to put myself in their shoes so I could understand their needs.”

When Barbara’s father offered a partnership to him, Jack accepted it immediately. The years passed, children came along, and when the boys were more independent Barbara came back to the workplace. And how does a couple keep a marriage alive when they see each other 24/7?

“We believe in the need for communication,” Barbara states. “You can’t let things fester and you have to learn to compromise.” They are happy that they gained a measure of friendship before they entered into their marriage. And they are big proponents of laughter. “If you don’t notice laughter in your marriage for a long time,” Jack says, “then you have to regroup and talk and listen. Laughter is very important.”

After 42 years of marriage, four children, four grandchildren and two more on the way, Barbara and Jack feel very blessed. “We have a very supportive family and great friends,” Barbara says. “We don’t make it all business. We instill the importance of family because family comes first.”

And that is why Barbara and Jack’s marriage is newsworthy. A relationship that began with one spark and grew into a fire and still continues to burn deserves recognition.

Donna White is an accomplished author and Jubilee Medal winner for her volunteer work with World Vision. Visit her website at www.DonnaWhiteBooks.com

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