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From personal ad to marital bliss

February 14, 2004

Carol Austin of Hagerstown wrote in an e-mail that her story might give The Herald-Mail's advertising section a little boost.

She says she's someone who is "blissfully married" as a result of the newspaper's Introductions pages, on which people place personal ads to let people know they want to meet others.

Prompted by the success of a girlfriend, Carol Winebrenner responded to several ads.

"The first two dates were duds," she says.

The third man, whose ad mentioned hiking and bicycling, turned out to be a gem.

They talked for hours, met for dinner at Oliver's Pub & Restaurant in Hagerstown.

Their second date was a bike ride along the C&O Canal, and Carol Austin says she was "hooked."

She considers it a miracle - "after 18 years of singleness" - that she happened to check out Introductions just as Jerry Austin's ad appeared. He works in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and Carol Austin says they never would have met otherwise.

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She was impressed by his sense of values, security about himself and upbeat outlook. "The glass always is half full."

Two years later, Carol and Jerry Austin were married. They will celebrate their seventh anniversary in July.

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