GREENSBURG – When Don and Georgia Haarman sit down to dinner next week at Cricket Ridge Restaurant in Batesville, they’ll be surrounded by family.
Their three children and most of their six grandkids and two great grandchildren will be gathered there with them, sharing a meal and no doubt sharing family stories.
There’ll be a lot to share.
Don and Georgia will celebrate 60 years of marriage on Thursday; they can think of no better way to commemorate this milestone than surrounded by the generations of family their commitment to one another has created. The couple views their family, in fact, as the single greatest accomplishment of their marriage.
“Our entire family lives successful, productive lives,” Don said. “We’re extremely proud of them all.”
The couple sat down with the Daily News just in time for Valentine’s Day to talk about their many years together and the secret to keeping their marriage together so long.
In the beginning, of course, there was only Don and Georgia, two young people who really weren’t much more than kids. The pair, who’ve lived in Lake Santee more than 20 years, are both from Ohio and first met at a going-away party in Cincinnati for Don Bates, a friend of Don’s who was leaving for the Army.
The year was 1953 – February or March – and although Georgia didn’t know Don Haarman, she was friends with Don Bates’ sister, Nancy.
Don Haarman hadn’t been in many serious relationships at the time. “I was more interested in hunting and fishing,” he recalled.
However, he still vividly remembers the “pretty red head who caught my eye [that night].”
Georgia had never laid eyes on Don, but fortunately, Nancy gave him an enthusiastic reference. Don Bates and the rest of Don Haarman’s buddies also offered ringing testimonials as to what a “good guy” he was; both were enough for Georgia to take an interest the gangly, handsome young man.