An Ocean Reef LOVE STORY…
by Joan Birsh, Member Since 1997
After they experienced the heartbreaking loss of a spouse of many decades, neither Sandy Rule nor Kevin Crowe ever expected to find true love again…. Then three years ago they discovered each other.
First Date… After much urging by his tennis partners at the Racquet Club, the day finally came when Kevin said, “OK, I’m ready. I’ll call her.” Although both Sandy Rule and Kevin Crowe had been Ocean Reef Members for decades, surprisingly they had never met. This was going to be an honest to- goodness “blind date.”
They arranged to rendezvous for dinner at Gianni’s. Sandy declined Kevin’s offer to pick her up and chose instead to come in her own car. He was relieved. Secretly both were thinking “quick getaway”.
As it turned out, the dinner stretched into a six hour revelation of all the life experiences, interests, ambitions and goals that they shared. Though they grew up many miles apart (Sandy in Texas, Kevin in New York and Philadelphia) the number of things they had in common had all the markings of a “meant-to be” list. 1. Both had lost spouses 3 years before. 2. They came to Ocean Reef the same year (1993). 3. They each have two sons. 4. They are avid golfers. 5. They love to travel. 6. Not exactly a closer – but they drive the same car (a Lexus 350).
Five Weeks Later… Kevin arrived at Sandy’s house with a stack of travel brochures and announced, “We are going on a trip. You can decide where.”
The next day, out of over a dozen possible choices, Sandy picked National Geographic’s Round the World, Private Jet Tour. It no longer came as a surprise that it was also Kevin’s first choice.
“Although the trip was nine months away,” said Sandy, “we were confident enough about our relationship to make the commitment. Hey, we didn’t even bother to take travel insurance.”
The trip proved to be a wonderful success. Now they were a couple with shared memories of camel rides in Petra, exploring the ruins at Angkor Wat, holding hands at the Taj Mahal.
Extended Family… Though Kevin and Sandy are approximately the same age, Sandy was married and had children earlier than Kevin, so she has five grandchildren from 24 to 13, while Kevin’s two grandchildren are both under 5.
At a dinner when Sandy’s oldest granddaughter Amanda met Kevin for the first time, there was talk about his grandchildren. When Kevin left the room, Amanda pointed out that she was 23 and that Kevin’s oldest grandchild was only 3. “Seriously, Granny,” said Amanda, “is he your Boy Toy?” (NOTE: For the record Kevin looks young, but Sandy looks younger.)
Just like their elders, the family members of all ages on both sides share many of the same interests–tennis, golf, fishing and shooting. They all look forward to the occasions when they are together as a happy, compatible extended family.
Three Years Later – “I Do, I Do”… One evening during the summer of 2019, Sandy and Kevin were dining at Nearys, their favorite NYC restaurant, not far from Kevin’s New York apartment. “I asked her to be my wife,” said Kevin. “And I agreed,” responded Sandy. Two days later Kevin, always the Irish gentleman, got down on one knee and asked her again. Then he presented her with a ring.
On September 14, the couple were married at the Quogue Beach Club. The ceremony was witnessed by 100 family members and friends from far and near. (Since Sandy spent much of her life accompanying her first husband, a Gillette executive, from one South American country to another, the friends from afar were mostly hers.)
Very quickly the friends and family were no longer “hers” or “his” but “ours.” And they, each and every one, were cheering for this wonderful couple, who took a chance on love.
And so are all of us at Ocean Reef.
Happy Valentine’s Day to Sandy and Kevin!