Love at First Sight: The Tony and Julia Files
Would my column today have worked without the letters? No, or not nearly as well.
It was the fact that Julia Yankowski had saved the letters Tony Senerchia wrote her when they were both in grade school that made the story so compelling.
How many of us keep such artifacts from our childhood?
I heard about Tony and Julia and their improbable reunion from Tony's cousin, a woman married to an artist who's friends with my uncle, who grew up in Brookland, which is where Tony and Julia are from. When I saw the letters -- brimming with affection, loaded with a real romantic passion -- I knew I had to write their story.
I thought you'd want to see the letters too.
Here's what we might call the earliest surviving letter Tony wrote Julia, a romantic missive he composed when he was 9:
Here's the second letter Tony wrote Julia:
Here's a photo of Tony and two of his brothers with Julia when she was a baby. That's Tony on the left:
This might be called their first kiss, a quick peck from Tony:
This is a photo of them after the funeral of Tony's aunt, who was friends with Julia's mother, which is how they met in the first place:
Don't they look like an old married couple? When I met them earlier this week, I asked them to recreate that pose:
If there's such a thing as love at first sight, this was it. They laughed when I told them that all over Washington today people would be lamenting that their love stories were nowhere near as dramatic, that their significant others were nowhere near as romantic as Tony, the love letter-penning 9-year-old. Yes, they'd heard that before.
I still remember the first time I laid eyes on the girl who would become My Lovely Wife. I was in college and my band was playing in the basement of the Anne Arundel dorm at the University of Maryland. This short, dark-haired theater major barked that we were too loud. Today we're married with two kids, a dog and a mortgage.
So tell me, what do you remember about the first time you met your significant other?
February 12, 2009; 8:18 PM ET
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