Marvin’s Valentine

Marvin’s Valentine:


Why would he be calling me and who gave him my number?” Terre asked. “I don’t want to go out with some show-business type.”

Terre,” Said her friend, “I think you should call back. Maybe it was really him. He’s a wonderful composer. Those melodies sound like they must come from his heart. I don’t think he’s going to be that bad. Besides, you don’t have to marry him.”

There’s no reason-” said Terre.

Marvin Hamlisch and Terre Blair’s Wedding.

Her friend interrupted her again: “Terre, if you don’t at least call him back, I’m never going to speak to you.” With that, she hung up the phone. Here was Terre’s friend telling her that their friendship would be null and void because of one unreturned phone call.

After many doubts, Terre dialed my number. She got my machine. Given the mood she was in, she left a message that rivaled mine in charm and length. “Hi, This is Terre Blair. Please call back.” Bang.

So far, isn’t this romantic? After seven days of playing phone tag, we finally connected. I was careful to take her number from the scrap of paper I had and transfer it, in ink, to my address book. Within a few days, I had memorized it, anyway.

We talked about everything. Whatever came to our minds was fair game: music, life, spirituality. And after every call, I found my spirits rising three steps at a time. The calls kept getting longer. One of them lasted seven hours. After a few months my instincts told me that this odd, strange, bizarre, unheard-of relationship was right.

We finally met. February 6, 1989.

She was beautiful: blond hair, green eyes- and a knockout smile. But more important, she was as warm as she sounded on the phone, open and lively and, in her own way, clearly as crazy as I was to be doing this.

Marvin Hamlisch and Terre Blair

As minutes became hours, I realized more and more that the voice on the other end of the line for all these months would be my wife.

Forever, and after that.

We just looked at each other, holding hands, and sat down on the couch. We didn’t want to unlock our hands.  – Marvin Hamlisch (1944–2012) – from the book “The Way I Was”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Watch: Love Story — Marvin Hamlisch at the piano.