Valentine’s Day, for some, brings to mind distance’s impact on romance.
Jean Turman of Commonwealth Senior Living is proof it’s not necessarily absence but patience which gives the heart a chance to grow fonder. According to Turman, (who was 53 at that time), she had been living on her own for 10 years following the death of her first husband, Kenneth Robinson in 1985. It was then Garver Turman introduced himself to her over the telephone.
“I didn’t know who I was talking to. He was a stranger,” laughed Turman, who at the time, lived in the Piper’s Gap area. “He told me who he was and that he wanted to go out to dinner on a date. I didn’t know who I was talking to, so I refused. After four phone calls I decided I’d take a chance.”
Turman said the two went to dinner at “The Derby” in Mount Airy and afterwards just rode around and talked. She said conversation came easily between the two, with things going well. As things progressed, future activities included fiddler’s conventions and dances.
“He was a very nice person,” said Turman. Friendly talk over the dinner table followed in the coming days. Garver Turman was to become her husband four years later and the couple remained married for 30 years until Garver lost a battle with cancer in 2015. Turman said Garver built the house they spent their years in. Common interests and hobbies soon made the two inseparable. She jokes while some men had golfing, Garver had his garden.
“We had a big garden and a big flower garden,” said Turman. “We liked to go to fiddler’s conventions and we shared a lot out of our garden with our neighbors.” Turman said she also enjoyed horseback riding and participated in horse shows and Carroll County’s Wagon Train and in July Fourth parades.
“He enjoyed working at home and in his garden. Things like that. He was kind of a country boy,” Turman said. “I took care of may mother (Margudeen) and my daddy (Edgar Hines) came to live with me and I took care of him. I lived by myself for ten years. I had my job, working with Wonder Knit for 30 years. I really loved my job. I loved the people I worked with. I guess that’s the way I stayed with it until they closed the doors.”
She said the time the two spent building their happy home was like “heaven on earth” and it was important they shared so many interests, which helped them to really enjoy life together. Garver had two children and Turman said she loved them like they were her own.
“Sharing a lot of interests really helped. I was a country girl and he was a country boy. These things out there in life weren’t of interest to us. We were more or less family people. We just enjoyed being together at home,” Turman said. “I’m from a family of ten children. I had five brothers and four sisters. All five of my brothers were in (the) Service. All five of them came home. When the last one left, mother was standing at the door and she said, ‘Well, there goes my last one. They can’t take any more.’”
She thinks Garver’s love of home and hearth was helped by his service overseas in the United State Army. Turman said if she was asked to share some advice on relationships, she would encourage them to have patience, and to not be afraid to take some time.
“I mean, I wanted to make sure that he was the right man and I loved him. Because I had been by myself for so long I didn’t want to jump into something. Don’t make that quick decision. Go together for a while and learn things about each other,” said Turman. “I had my job and my home and everything. I enjoyed going to church. (She’s been a member of the Fairlawn Church of Christ for more than 50 years.) I enjoyed my church work.”
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.