Pure Gold

Diane & Jesse Harris
Diane & Jesse Harris

First Meeting: May 1972

Wedding Date: June 24, 1973

Venue: Emerald Gardens,Baltimore

Current Residence: Owings Mills

Favorite Activity: Going to museums, traveling

Diane Warner and Jesse Harris met at a wedding in Baltimore in May 1972. They talked around a girl who was seated between them. They spent the entire affair dancing and conversing.

Jesse returned to Manhattan, where he worked for the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Employment as the local veterans’ employment representative. He told his mother he had “met the one.”

Jesse had told Diane he would return to Charm City in June, and she agreed he could take her out. He spent two weeks at Fort Meade for annual military training and then he returned by train each weekend to see her. Her parents, Carlyn and Jack Warner, liked Jesse and her dog liked him, too. Diane occasionally ventured to New York and met Sylvia and Samuel Harris, as well.

Jesse, then 29, had gone on his share of dates. With a wide circle of friends, he attended parties every Friday night. It was fun, but it “wasn’t a way of life,” he said. “New York’s a wonderful place to live but not to be married and raise children.”

He knew what he wanted in a spouse. Diane fit the bill.

She, too, was taken by Jesse and his great personality, smarts and sense of fun.

After just two weeks, they had professed their love. After five weeks, Jesse told her he wanted to marry her.

“I wasn’t shocked,” said Diane, then 28. “I knew he was going to say it. I felt it. He was right.”

Diane didn’t agree to marry Jesse until a week later when he returned to town. Jesse presented her with a ring in front of his family in New York that September.

080213_pure_gold2They married June 24, 1973 at Emerald Gardens. Baltimore Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi David Goldstein officiated the ceremony at noon before 125 friends and family members.

The couple left the wedding in Diane’s turquoise Ford Maverick and moved to Richmar Apartments in Owings Mills. They enjoyed a three-week honeymoon in Spain, Portugal and Majorca.

Jesse worked in jewelry sales, and Diane returned to teaching. Six years later, Jesse accepted the executive director post at Temple Oheb Shalom, a position he would retire from 28 years later.

The Harrises have two children, Matthew, who joined the family in 1982, and Lori, who came along two years later. Their 1-year-old granddaughter lives in Missouri with Matthew.

After 40 years together, the Harrises encourage other couples to listen to each other and really understand each other.

“We’re best friends besides being husband and wife,” said Diane. “I think that’s important, too.”

As they have aged together, they have grown to appreciate each other much more.

“She’s more beautiful now than the day I married her,” said Jesse. “She is my rock.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For Beshert, call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.

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