parents tore them apart but this modern-day
Romeo and Juliet story has a “Hollywood” ending.
Harry Met Marion
would it feel to be denied the love of your life? Marion Jones Aston
knows all too well.
soft-spoken, still beautiful woman, Marion treasures memories of
growing up in Windsor in the 1930s and 40s. And the most treasured
of them all involve a handsome boy named Harry.
met Harry when she was 14 and a student at St. Mary’s Academy
in South Windsor. Harry was a Walkerville student and member of
the school’s colour guard. His sister Mimi was a classmate
long after Marion and Harry were introduced they began dating. Soon
they were spending nearly all their free time together. After school,
Harry would meet Marion at her bus drop at Ouellette Avenue and
Tecumseh Road. He would take her for fries and a coke at Mario’s
or perhaps a stroll through Jackson Park.
weekends, If they could find their way into the county, they danced
at Danny's in Colchester or under the stars in Kingsville. Or, if
they stayed in the city, they watched movies at the Capitol, Palace
and Vanity theatres. Every Saturday night they danced with friends
at the Masonic Temple.
two years, they managed all this in secret; Marion’s parents
were strict Catholics and would never have approved of her dating
someone outside of her religion.
couple invented a secret way to communicate. Every Sunday, as soon
as a tune by the Ink Spots played on the radio, Harry would call,
ring once and hang up. Marion would then find an excuse to run to
the corner drug store so they could have a few minutes to talk.
order to be together for school activities and dances, a mutual
friend would pick Marion up and then take her to Harry.
The Windsor Star reported in their society column that Harry and
Marion were together at an event and even described the dress that
Marion wore. The couple was petrified that her parents would see
she was 16, Harry gave Marion a ring. Of course she couldn’t
wear it and had no choice but to hide it.
despite all their best efforts, this clandestine relationship couldn’t
possibly last forever. Marion’s parents found Harry’s
ring hidden in her diary and were furious.
was forbidden to ever see him again.
years later, Marion, was a newly graduated nurse and a newlywed,
but not to her first love. She had married Curt Dunham, a local
In 1952, they moved thousands of kilometres away from Windsor to
Los Angeles where Curt had been raised. Three years later, they
moved to the San Diego area where they stayed for many years. Together
they had five children.
Marion never forgot Harry.
one of her children was experiencing the pangs of a girlfriend or
boyfriend dropping them, Marion would tell them the story of her
"first love" and would conclude that she truly believed
that somehow, someway she would see him again.
after finishing high school, Harry attended college in Detroit and
then moved to Michigan in 1950. Upon graduating from college with
a B.S.M.E., he worked for a major company and became branch manager
of the Detroit office. He then started his own business in the city
and expanded with branch offices in Clearwater, Orlando and Fort
had six children – four girls and two boys.
the early 1980s, after more than 35 years of absolutely no contact
from him, Marion, who was recently separated and visiting friends
in Windsor ran into Harry at the Meadows, a tavern near Colchester
outside of the city. He, too, had recently separated.
was as if no time had elapsed since they had last met illicitly
for a coffee shortly after their forced break up in 1946.
August, 1986, four decades after they had thought they would never
see each other again, Marion and Harry became Mr. and Mrs. Harry
Aston in the little chapel at Christ Church in Colchester and have
been together ever since.
here to read about Marion’s famous granddaughter.