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Romance rules with just a little imagination

March 12, 1999

Mary Lee and Joseph Hoffmanphoto: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




Mary Lee Hoffman of Hagerstown wrote that before she remarried more than 10 years ago, she and her date - "both incurable romantics" - planned a late summer evening of dining and dancing. Their idea just kind of snowballed once her creative juices started flowing, Hoffman says.

They took an old-fashioned wicker basket, set out a picnic with a lace tablecloth, linen napkins ringed with flowers, small china plates and candles in an old candelabra.

Joseph R. Hoffman, Mary Lee's date then, her husband now, wore his best suit, and she wore her prettiest long dress. The couple dined on various cheeses, crackers, olives, strawberries and chocolate. "A bottle of nonalcoholic grape juice chilled in the ice bucket," she wrote.

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As they danced to a tape of romantic music, the hem of her dress swirling in the soft summer breeze, several passersby, including a police officer who wondered about their bottle of grape juice, watched and then quietly went on their way.

Mary Lee Hoffman calls it an unforgettable evening.

You don't need a lot of money, she says. "All you need is a little imagination."




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