It was an awkward beginning that turned into a friendship and later love for both Aaron Taylor, TrojanVision television production coordinator, and his wife, Robbyn Taylor, lecturer of journalism and communication.
“I met her right here where I am sitting right now,” Taylor said sitting at his desk at the TrojanVision News office.
He said that Robbyn had dropped by the then TSU TV office looking to get involved with the television station. He, a senior, was about to go shoot a story and Robbyn, a freshman or a sophomore, wanted to tag along.
“But, I was very mean and rude to her, and she (Robbyn) will often say ‘very scary,’ ” he said. “So I scared her, and she actually wanted to not come back to TSU TV. But her mom told her, ‘Don’t let some mean boy keep you from being a part of a television station that you want to become a part of your career.’ ”
Taylor admits that he honestly does not remember this first encounter. “She remembers it vividly because I scared her,” he said. Despite that initial interaction, the two became friends.
“Fast forward 14 years later, and her mom was saying, ‘You really should date this Aaron guy, he is really a nice guy,’” he said.
The pair have been married for two years and have a one-year-old son.
“It all started on June 20, 1988, when I came down to Troy for my interview,” said Michael Orlofsky, professor in the English department. He is married to Diane Orlofsky, professor in the music department.
A colleague of his introduced them during his visit, and the three went out to lunch after his interview.
“Big spender, we went to McDonald’s for lunch,” Orlosfsy said. “And it was when I was sitting across the table from her at McDonald’s that I was kind of just looking at her and the thought went to my head that ‘Hey… this might be a possibility.’”
Orlofsky subsequently got hired and began working in the English department, and his office was right across from Diane’s office.
“And I would stay late in the day grading papers, and she would stay later in the day practicing piano,” he said. “And then as these things go, we started making small talk and comparing notes, just being friendly.”
September of that year, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival came to Troy for a performance of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” providing Orlofsky with the opportunity to ask her out. They went to dinner and then attended the play that night.
“And ever since that day, I think it was Sept. 26, 1988, we’ve been together.”
They have been married for 22 years and have two daughters.
Rebecca “Becky” Ingram, assistant professor in the department of education, met her husband, Earl Ingram, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, while she was still dating someone else.
Ingram’s love story began through her brother, who worked with her husband in an engineering firm.
“He worked there for two years before my brother told him that he had a sister,” she said. “And once he did, he met me.”
Becky Ingram was teaching Earl how to water-ski while her then boyfriend was driving the boat when Earl first asked her out.
“When we went out on our first date, my boyfriend was at my parents’ house to see us off,” Ingram said, describing her odd first date where her then boyfriend followed them the whole night. “It was very awkward, but we were married a year later,” she said.
Their nuptials were also as atypical as their first rendezvous.
“He was living in Oklahoma (for military) and I was living in Georgia, and we decided to be together,” she said. “We decided on a Friday to get married. He drove 24 hours straight from Oklahoma to Georgia. Then he flew to Washington, D.C., to tell his parents and then flew back. We planned the wedding on Monday, and then we were married on Tuesday.”
Ingram said that what has kept her husband and her together is their shared sense of fun. “We do things that we both like, we encourage each other and we support each other,” she said. “And I think that has developed into a world-class love affair.”
The Ingrams have been married for 47 years and have two sons and five grandchildren.
Joe McCall, senior lecturer of history, and his wife, Xiaojuan “Silvia” Li, coordinator for special international initiatives, have been married for three years now. Li came to the U.S. from China as a visiting scholar, and the two were able to meet.
“I lived in the married student housing with some other visiting scholars,” she said. “Joe was living just upstairs.”
Li said that her and her friends would throw parties and get-togethers as it is done in Chinese culture. Because McCall was single and lived by himself, they would invite him to join them for dinner and he normally would — they would always have plenty of food.
“He would also take us here and there to go places, and I didn’t have to walk to school to go to class,” she said. “I’d take a ride with him. And gradually we became friends first.”
Li said that even when they both felt that they were attracted to each other, McCall had reservations about expressing it because he thought that Li was already married. When they finally talked about it, Li told him that she was divorced and McCall finally took a sigh of relief. “That’s how we started,” she said.