Buddy and Elaine Friend have November to themselves in Hyatt and Plaza Cos.’ Classic Moments 2004 calendar, which has been distributed nationwide in each of the company’s 19 Classic Residence retirement communities.
A black and white photograph captures the Friends, who were among the first seniors to move into Scottsdale’s Classic Residence four years ago, seated at a table in a Detroit nightclub during their honeymoon.
They were married Nov. 1, 1945.
The Friends’ picture was one of 12 selected among hundreds to be in the calendar after the Hyatt executives in Chicago requested residents send in old photographs of themselves, said Alison Betts, Hyatt public relations coordinator.
The Friends’ photograph was picked, in part, because it was in good condition and could be blown up to calendar size, she said.
"The purpose was to honor these people who’ve led these amazing lives and showcase their accomplishments," Betts said.
In the photo, Buddy is in military uniform, and Elaine has an orchid poised in her hair. A lamp shade on their table is tilted to one side.
For two years during World War II, they corresponded through letters while he was stationed in Hawaii and she was studying psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Every month, he sent her orchids.
Although they got engaged through letters, the long distance strained their relationship.
"It got to a point where the chimpanzees were looking awfully good," Buddy Friend said.
In summer 1945, he returned from the South Pacific to rest thinking he’d have to go back.
Then the war ended.
"When you think back, it was really a very romantic time," he said. "We got married . . . and my God, we didn’t even know each other."
Now the Friends, who are in their 80s, know each other well and there’s still romance between them, except it takes the form of playful bickering, Buddy Friend said.
"Elaine has heard this so many times, but when people ask me about that picture — "
Elaine interrupted. "Don’t say it. He doesn’t want to hear that," she said.
Buddy waved her off with his hand. "Elaine, why don’t you go practice psychology."
"I’m trying to," she shot back.
Buddy continued, "I say that the only thing in that whole picture that was tipsier than the lamp shade was me."