Please turn your speakers on  ---  from H. Bruce Downey  ---  "The Wedding March"  ---  from  "A Midsummer Night's Dream"  by  Felix Mendelssohn
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It's better to be happy than it is to be right...
Recently I added Nancy's and my wedding picture to the slide show presentation I submitted for the Harvard/Radcliffe56 website :
and therein lies this, "the story behind the story"--- 
From the very outset of my efforts to write an original  slide show presentation in html coding for the Harvard/Radcliffe56 website, my wife, Nancy Richardson Downey[ Radcliffe '56 ], knew of my interest in doing what seemed to be the impossible, but she asked me to proceed without any photos of her in the presentation.  And so I didn't, at least not initially.  But then later, after I showed Nancy the slideshow I had put together, she realized that there was something missing.  And of course, there was, for it was she herself that was missing in a slideshow that spanned my lifetime, both before and after Harvard56.  So Nancy looked for and found our wedding album.  She knew right where to find it, whereas all I knew was that it must be somewhere in the house.  We had not looked together at that album in so many years that I couldn't possibly remember the last time we had done so.  Was it 20 years ago ?  Maybe.  But perhaps it was as many as say 23 years ago, that being a particularly significant point in our lives together--- our 25th wedding anniversary.  Anyway, like I said, Nancy found the 48-year old glossy, but long since yellowed box containing our wedding album--- the box embossed with the single word, "Bachrach"--- Bachrach then being a noted photographic studio in the Boston area that we once knew so well some 50 years ago.  And upon opening the box, there it was--- the album itself, representing the beginning of a lifetime together, all wrapped up in its leather bound cover with the faded ribbon around it.  As we paged through the album together we came across a couple of pictures appropriate for inclusion in the slideshow destined for the Harvard/Radcliffe56 website.  But Nancy quickly pointed to only one, saying, "There. That's the one I want."  I suggested another--- but was quickly overruled.  "No.  That's the one I want.  And if I'm going to have only one picture in the slideshow, then this is it."  And so it was---  February 8, 1958, now destined to be remembered at the Harvard/Radcliffe56 website.
I think that this little "story behind the story" illustrates what our marriage is really based upon.  Aside from the emotional basis of all marriages --- love for one another --- there must always be a rational basis that also describes every such relationship.  If it's possible to summarize, for me it has always come down to this--- "Because Nancy is smarter than I am, I always try to listen to what she has to say."  And so I do, and always have--- most of the time.  And if I were to ask Nancy to summarize what the rational basis of our marriage is, I think she would say this---"It's better to be happy than it is to be right."  And so it is, and always will be--- all of the time.  Of course when Nancy tells me this, I am quick to come back with something like this---" Yes, you're always happy and I'm always right!."  And then we both laugh.  But seriously, I think there has to be a rational basis to stand on equal footing with the emotional basis of every successful marriage.  While the emotional basis of enduring love for one another is universal among all successful marriages, it's the supportive rational basis that has to be mutually worked out.  And what works for Nancy and I has always come down to this--- "It's better to be happy than it is to be right" and "because Nancy is smarter than I am, I always try to listen to what she has to say."  And so I've been listening to Nancy for these past 48 years now, and I hope to keep on listening for another 48 yet to come.
"...for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health..."

***Story, photo, and music presented here from scratch in html coding written by Bruce***

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