The computer played an important role in how Gloria and I got together in this amazing age of technology.
When my wife Jeanne died in 2003 and my son Kurt had passed away several months before I became very depressed. I sought solace by burying myself in my work, artists are lucky in that respect, the intense concentration of creating art can temporarily ease the pain and keep one's mind occupied.
Seeing that I was quite lonely, my friends encouraged me to put my profile on Yahoo Personals. I thought was a crazy idea, especially for an old guy like me. Eventually I decided to give it a try in the hopes of possibly meeting a neat lady friend. That's exactly what happened. In my profile I stated that was looking for a Muse, I did better, I found Gloria.
Gloria Bursey, a writer, wasn't looking to find anyone, but was doing research on internet dating when she came across my profile, she was attracted to my picture because I was holding my cat, Laura. Gloria is a ardent cat lover and thinking that I might be one too she decided to send me an e-mail message. Unfortunately my computer had crashed and it took me a week to get it going. I felt that she may have given up on any response from me. After I finally contacted her we decided to meet and have lunch at a halfway point between Grand Rapids, where she lives, and Sawyer where I live, 100 miles away. We agreed to meet in Saugatuck at the Water Street Gallery. The gallery was representing me at the time. After browsing the gallery and viewing some of my work, we left and had a nice leisurely lunch. We got to know each other and found that we have a lot in common, we've been dating ever since.
Here's Gloria taking photographs on the beach near my house. The Scarlet Macaw Art Center in Sawyer, MI recently had a exhibit of her "Portals of Mexico" photographs.
Gloria was a widow for over twenty years and dated regularly, but never found anyone that interested her that much. She proved to be a very interesting lady, being a writer and photographer most of her life. She also had traveled extensively throughout the world and even lived in Saudi Arabia for a spell. Gloria has also worked in advertising and was the editor and publisher of "CHOICES for the rest of your life", a magazine exploring the changing life styles of people 50 and over, it had a circulation of 40,000.
In 1998 she began researching love and romance by interviewing couples that had found happiness in new relationships. Her interest in how to find new relationships and what makes them pleasurable began years before. In the 1970's she and another writer researched the predictors of happiness in marriage for a series of articles. They collected data with a scientifically designed study from almost 500 men and women of all ages as well as conducting in-depth interviews with others. Since then she has continuesly explored what makes happy relationships. She has offered some of these findings in the second half of her book and confirmed them with mini surveys of her couples along with additional information. For more info on her book, "50 Ways to Find Romance After 50", check out her blogs on my LINKS.
Along with her writing, Gloria has earned a reputation for her photography. Her photo-history exhibit of 12 outstanding West Michigan women originally opened at the Gerald R. Ford Museum and is now hanging at the Women's Resource Center in Grand Rapids.
Gloria and I have taken many trips together and in 2006 visited old Detroit buddies Tom Clarke and Jerry Campbell in Las Vegas. We stayed at the Luxor, an unusual hotel in the shape of a pyramid.
Gloria and I have gone down to Puerto Vallarta a few times, staying at the Fiesta Americana. For several years my wife Jeanne and I had vacationed there, staying at the same hotel. During that time Gloria was also frequently in PV doing promotion work for Las Tules, the resort next door to the Fiesta Americana.
Gloria also has a good friend down there, Pamela Aguirre, who owns Rancho El Charro which offers tourists horseback ride vacation packages. Pam and Gloria go off riding in the hills together while I walk around taking photos in the local village.
I found an old photo of Gloria when she was a hot blond and did this poster for her. For fun I design a commemorative poster every time we visit Puerto Vallarta.
Two drawings I did for Gloria to use as logos on her business cards and other promotional material.
Gloria has two blogs under way and I draw the cartoons for each, see my LINKS and go to Romance After 50 and The Romance Game.
Gloria has two cats Blackjack and Schnickelfritz and I have three, Jpeg, Tiff and Laura. We are trying to figure out exactly how to merge households. Also, the driving involved in our one hundred mile romance can be a bit tiring for Gloria. We are working at resolving these issues.
Jpeg, Tiff and Laura love Gloria, it's how all the cats will get along that we have to worry about.
Some of the posters that I designed to promote Gloria's book.
Here I am with my Muse Gloria, we always manage to have a great time together. She has proven that her book works. If you are interested in her book check out her blogs on my LINKS for ordering info.