Garry Marshall On Marriage In
The 20th Century: In Search Of
The Happy Ending
LOST IN AMERICA
Marshall serves as an on-camera guide through an examination
of history of marriage in the 20th century and its potential
for a future in the 21st century.
The program aired on Showtime,
June 14th and 30th. The program may be shown again. Please check
your local listings.
The show includes a segment on our own,
dear centenarian friend, Merle McEathron, who turned 104 in July.
Lynn Adler with Merle McEathron,
101, in September of 1996.
Last July, as a result of a June 22nd front-page story in
The New York Times that featured Lynn Peters Adler and
nine of her centenarian friends from Arizona*, the National
Centenarian Awareness Project received a call from a production
company in search of the perfect centenarian story to illustrate
the evolution of marriage over this century. Merle fit the bill
Married at the age of 15, Merle was left with two young sons
to raise alone when her husband left her for another woman. After
her sons were through college, Merle moved from her home state
of Indiana to Phoenix. There she met and
married her second husband when she was in her fifties. Widowed
ten years later, she then had a whirlwind romance with a musician
and married for the third time.
"After ten months, I packed his things and set them outside
the door," she tells. Alone again and in her seventies,
Merle returned to work as a hostess at a popular Phoenix restaurant.
Undaunted she continued an active social life and at a senior
dance met "the love her life," retired Admiral Ellsworth
McEathron. After a year-long courtship at the age of 80, Merle
married for the fourth time. "It was a real romance,"
she says. "We had ten beautiful years together." About
her life, Merle sums it up this way: "I've had two lemons
and two angels,"
A note from Lynn,
In October, 1998, we invited members of Merle's family to a gathering
at my mother's home in Phoenix where we celebrated Merle's life
and loves and toasted it all with champagne. This was the setting
where the production crew interviewed Merle and her three generations
of descendants of whom she is very proud. The day was a touching
tribute to a woman who has know the best of times and the worst
of times; who has maintained her spirit and dignity throughout
Lynn Adler and her centenarian friends gathered
together to celebrate life. Pictured is Merle McEathron (far
right) with Lynn Adler (center), Lenore Schaeffer (next to Lynn)
and Manella Stimson (far left).
*Read about The New York Times
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1998-2013 National Centenarian Awareness Project & Lynn Peters
No material, in whole or in part, may be reprinted
or reproduced in any form without the prior written permission
of Lynn Peters Adler and the National Centenarian Awareness Project.