We finally partied out, said our goodbyes to family and friends, and headed south on our post-wedding East Coast road trip.
First stop: Lynchburg, Virginia—home of Liberty University and, more remarkably, Jim and Gloria Swans0n. Mauri has heard me talk about the Swans0ns for 20 years now, that’s how important they were to my history. My mother was friends with her mother back in their Wheaton days, which is how we found each other as residents in Tallahassee, Florida, in the early ‘70s.
We took this picture for their Christmas card that year.
And they took this one for ours.
We each had two small children of similar age and we shared Christian faith, which was enough to form a deep friendship, the kind that endures through years of separation. You probably have friends like that. Turns out we have even more commonalities now, and Mauri comfortably slid right in to the friendship with me.
Gloria has taught piano for many years, which might explain the two grand pianos here and the one downstairs.
She teaches about pianos as well as how to play one.
Hold on to your hat. Jim amd Gloria’s five children have given them 32 grandchildren! “How do you keep track of all their birthdays?” “By the month.” Well, of course!
Jim recently retired from 38 years of teaching and doing research in reproductive endocrinology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, then moved to Lynchburg to be part of the startup medical department at Liberty. Gloria gave us a driving tour of the remarkable campus.
She pointed out Jim’s new office of this still-under-construction building that houses the medical school.
At Old Dominion, Jim was accustomed to walking to work, but here they “settled” for this home outside of a reasonable walk.
We wondered how with a view like this they can do anything but sit and look.
We left the following morning to zag over toward the North Carolina Outer Banks feeling enriched by our time with Jim and Gloria Swans0n.