A Captain from Westpoint was visiting an airbase in the UK during WWII. David Booth was a Spitfire pilot stationed there, who grumbled and sulked on a Friday night when he was given the job of entertaining the Captain's daughter. He met Anne that evening and the pair were inseperable throughout her father's week long tour. The story goes that she never went back to the US and they were married almost immediately.
This beautiful married couple lived opposite my family home in Cheltenham, heading the Neighbourhood Watch and generally being fabulously lovely. In the absence of living or nice grandparents, they became surrogates to me and my three siblings, coming to all our variously raucous and reserved parties as teenagers and beyond. They kept the spare key to our house and became a frequent calling-post for the forgetful teenage years. You would pop across the road to get the key and then three hours later, would emerge, drenched in tea, with aching jaw from the chattering and interest they showed in your life.
Only 85 and in energetic health attending to his vegetable patch and beloved roses, David died of a heart attack this afternoon.
David and Anne Booth make me want to find the perfect partner and stay married for over 60 years. Their energy as a couple and as individuals made me so happy and I can only imagine the heartache going through Anne's head in that quiet house this evening. I know that Spring is supposed to be the season for new life and all that, but I can't help feeling terribly let down that the system decided that this year, David was the one who had to make way.