Betsy and Steve Meet
Published for Valentine's Day, 2006 by Loni Ingraham, Towson Times
His first contact with Betsy was an argument over Ernest Hemingway, says Stoneleigh resident Steve Lafferty, deputy director of planning for Howard County.
It was in 1971 in a grad school class at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, he says.
She was an intellectual challenge, he says. She was very smart and very willing to engage in debate, and he found that intriguing.
"We argued about Hemingway," he says. "His views about women were pretty rudimentary. He was a chauvinist pig no matter how well he wrote.
"Betsy argued he didn't deserve the accolades because of his underlying values. I was sensitive to the issues she raised, but I think she was missing the point. It was great writing and good stories."
They argued in other classes and over coffee, and he realized that the more time he spent with her the more he enjoyed her.
Two years later, he took the plunge.
"We were in her apartment and I was making dinner, and she was sitting in a chair watching the news," he says. "I came over and bent down on my knee - after all, she was sitting in a chair - and I proposed to her.
"I don't think I would have asked if I thought it was going to be a no."
After 31 years of marriage, they still argue and debate all the time, he says. "She certainly has a lot of opinions, and it's still fun to be with her."