*”He had never left my mind, after all those years,” this is what Iris Hoard said of the man she had let go of 33 years prior, after dating him for only a year and now, finding him again by happenstance.
It’s an unusual story about how life comes to full circle when you least expect it.
It all started with a hot dog craving.
Doug Foster had a taste for one and decided to leave his Washington office, jump in his car and go get “one of those dirty dogs off of the roach coach.”
But when he went to park, he backed into another car.
The damage was minor so the two drivers exchanged the necessary info and went on their way.
Foster thought that was the end of it. But he has probably never felt so good about being wrong.
Later that day, the other driver, complaining about the fender bender, mentioned the name Doug Foster to his friend Bernadeen “Bernie” Hoard.
You see where this is going, right?
THE Doug Foster was probably the first thought that came to mind as Bernie mentioned to her friend how she remembered her sister, Iris, used to date a guy named Doug Foster.
She couldn’t get to Iris fast enough and encourage her to call the driver. So a few days later, Iris and Bernie placed a three-way call to see if this was THE Doug.
As soon as Iris heard his voice, she knew it was!
Iris, now 58 and retired, said “He had never left my mind, after all of those years.”
And Doug felt the same way.
“I couldn’t believe it. After all of this time, I was talking to Iris. The Iris. My Iris,” said 74-year-old Doug, who owns a consulting firm. “I was shocked and weak at the knees!”
The two don’t even recall why it was that they broke up years ago!
But who cares, right?
Their budding romance all those years ago sounds so very charming.
According to the Washington Post:
Their story dates to the disco era — 1979. Doug, then 36, was a friend of Bernie’s and a manager of several clubs in the District, including the Black Tahiti and the Black Crystal. Often times, Iris, then 21, and her sister would call him up in the wee hours of the morning, after a night of doing the hustle, to grill them up some late-night eats.
He would always take the call, even after a late night of work. “They’d say, ‘We are hungry. Can you fix us breakfast?’ ” recalls Doug, laughing. “I’d say, ‘Fine. Come on over.’ ”
“We would always come back for more, so evidently it was tasty,” Bernie quips.
Iris and Doug, both D.C. natives, developed an easy rapport and bonded quickly, despite their age difference. They shared similar interests and challenges — both were raising young children and had recently suffered heartbreak (Iris had broken up with her son’s father, and Doug was recently divorced from his first wife.)
I wish I felt this way about my boyfriends from years way back yonder. But for the life of me, I can’t think of not-a-ONE that I’d like to reconnect with: Not Gary with the light eyes; not muscle-toned Khalid who obviously thought hanging out with my family for years afterwards would bring me back from California (we were initially supposed to move here together and he reneged at the last minute saying “you won’t last 3 months out there!”…Its been well over 30 years)!
The Washington Post continues…
After several visits, Doug mustered up the courage to ask Iris out on a date to the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant. “Back then, it was extremely elegant, like old Hollywood,” Doug says. “She fit in perfectly.”
Iris recalls being blown away by Doug’s charm, style and character. “He just has a very kind heart, had good spirits and a nice personality and smile,” she says.
Iris is thinking maybe it was the age difference that ultimately caused their relationship to fizzle back then.
She tells the Washington Post…
“There were no fights, no disagreements, no anything. For whatever reason, it just fizzled.” She speculates that their age difference may have been a factor. “I think I didn’t know back then what true love was, really,” she says. “I had to experience life to understand and appreciate” it.
Today the two are happier than ever. After reconnecting thanks to a fender bender, they decided to take things slow and start with phone calls; which turned into visits; which led to Foster moving in to Hoard’s home a year later.
On Sept. 14, 2015, while watching “Dancing With the Stars,” Doug grabbed Iris’s hand and surprised her with a proposal. She giddily accepted.
“Friends and family kept coaching us and pushing us to get married, but it had to be our time,” Iris says, “and nobody else’s.”
Read more about this love story at The Washington Post.