Bill Lohrie hasn't had time to play the organ lately. The instrument takes up a corner of the small but tidy living room of his small but tidy apartment at the Beaverton Lodge, the retirement community where he's lived for four years. It's been collecting dust, but you can't blame Bill: He's been busy getting married.
Thing is, Bill, 83, seems to have a knack for keeping busy. After retiring from his job as an electrician in 1982, he entered the real-estate game. He stayed with that career for 5 years, finding it hard to stop. " I retired twice before I finally quit," he says with a smile that displays his wry sense of humor.
Bill likes to bowl, and three years ago he joined a league at the Valley Lanes. He also plays pinochle and, in addition to his participation in organ club, he's a member at the nearby Masonic Lodge.
So just how did this active fellow manage to snag a girlfriend in the past year?
He didn't. Instead, it was Casey Snook who got busy on the relationship front.
Casey, who just celebrated her 77th birthday, also lives at the Beaverton Lodge. The retired school attendance officer says she moved into the Beaverton Lodge a year and a half ago seeking community and friendship after living on her own for 30 years. Life after retirement, she says, was lonely: "Some days I didn't see a soul."
Casey met Bill at the dinner table, where they often sat together with mutual friends. About a year ago, Casey invited Bill to her apartment for a game of dominoes. She might have been asking him out on a date, but Bill's response wasn't so enchanting. "Well," he said, "I don't have anything better to do."
Still, they played the game that night, and within a few weeks, they started spending more time together, often going for meals in town.
Bill introduced Casey to his friends at the bowling league. They shared a first kiss around this time, though neither can remember the specific occasion.
In the summer, the two took the train to Bellevue, Wash., where Casey introduced Bill to her son. They traveled to Vancouver, Wash., for a summertime barbecue with her other son.
As for their engagement, the two say they can't recall a formal proposal. Word spread quickly around the dinner table at the Beaverton Lodge, Casey says. "It got whispered around," she laughs. "It's like a school--you can't keep anybody quiet!"
There were no invitations sent; rather, the two simply set the date for just after New Year's. When they married at a local church last month, only five people attended. That's because the couple wanted all of their friends and family to come to the reception they hosted about a week later.
These days, the newlyweds are busy settling in to married life. They've started combining their belongings into Bill's apartment. Casey's pleased to have gained a new last name; she says she never liked Snook, her old one.
The couple's children, including Bill's two kids, are happy. "I think they're glad they won't have to take care of us for a while," Casey says.
The newlyweds, it seems, are even happier. When asked if she was surprised to be married again so late in the game, Casey's face brightens and a smile spreads wide across her face.
"We never would have dreamed it," she says.