Chris And Diane: A Very Special Love Story

Chris Murray and Diane McCoy met in 1966. It was the 1st day of Staples High School. They were in the same homeroom. Both last names began with “M,” so they were assigned seats near each other.

Desperate for a way to get the attention of such a cute girl, Chris asked if he could borrow her pencil.

They dated all through Staples. Diane was a cheerleader — “the ‘It Girl,'” Chris recalls. He was a soccer player and golfer.

Diane McCoy and Chris Murray's senior portraits from Staples High.

Diane McCoy and Chris Murray’s senior portraits from Staples High.

After graduation, she went to Colorado. He went to Florida. They drifted apart.

Chris chose Rollins College for its golf program — he thought he’d be a pro. But as a freshman he walked into the theater, and was hooked. He’d had no idea Rollins had a great theater program too.

He ended up acting off-Broadway. He met a Greek actress. They married, and moved to Europe. He became a director, writer and producer. They parted ways many years ago. Chris raised their 2 sons.

About 12 years ago — after 18 years abroad — Chris moved back to the US. He became a financial advisor and insurance strategies manager. He lived in Tarrytown, and did community theater.

A couple of years ago, he met someone who thought Chris would be a great fit for his boutique financial firm. Coincidentally, it was headquartered in Westport.

The 1969 Staples yearbook.

The 1969 Staples yearbook.

Chris was excited to work in his old home town. One day, on a whim, he wondered if Diane was still around. He Googled her name, and found a number. The voice on the answering machine was generic. He left a message, beginning with “I don’t know if you remember me….”

For 3 weeks, there was no reply. Chris Googled her once more. This time he found a different number — in Westport. Again, he left a message.

Two days later, she called back. “Of course I remember you!” Diane said. “I was your high school sweetheart!”

They got together for coffee. Coffee turned into a drink. A drink turned into 6 hours. They had 43 years to catch up on.

Chris had brought a scrapbook from Staples. Inside was a photo of the cheerleaders. Underneath — 4 decades ago — he had written: “Diane McCoy, my 1st true love.”

She brought a photo of Chris, with his red Austin Healey Sprite.

“We connected,” Chris says. “It just flowed.”

They discovered both were divorced. They also discovered that Diane’s brother Steve lived in Litchfield. That’s where Chris’s brother and sister lived too. In fact, Steve’s kids and Chris’s nephews and nieces had grown up together, and were friends. Steve had been their soccer coach.

Diane and Chris today.

Diane and Chris today.

Last Thanksgiving, Chris was alone with Diane’s mother. “Mrs. McCoy…” he began.

“Call me Phyllis,” she said.

Though he’s 62 years old, he found that hard to do. Since high school, she’d been “Mrs. McCoy” to him.

“Phyllis,” he asked, “is it okay if I ask Diane to marry me?”

“Chris Murray, you’re the only boy I ever thought was right for her,” she replied.

Last December 1, Chris moved into Diane’s Westport home.

On December 11 — her birthday — they drove to Compo Beach. It was the first place they’d ever kissed.

At sunset, by the cannons, he gave her a box. It contained a sapphire bracelet that once belonged to Chris’s mother, plus a “mushy letter.”

On the jetty he handed her a second box. This held a gold watch fob, and another mushy letter. At the bottom he’d written, “Will you marry me?”

She said “Yes!” It was cold, so they ran back to the car. Looking out, they saw a blond boy — Chris had been blond, once — and his girlfriend flying a 2-handled kite. They took a photo of it, silhouetted against the sky.

Chris and Diane at Compo Beach.

Chris and Diane at Compo Beach.

That night the couple had dinner at Tavern on Main, by the cozy fire. Afterwards, walking past Christmas lights on Main Street, they held hands. Snow flurries fell. “The years melted away,” Chris says.

At the end of January, Chris finally got a ring. He went back to Compo, to give it to Diane. A Jeep pulled into the adjacent parking space. Out came the same blond guy they’d seen before. He flew the same kite. “That’s crazy!” says Chris.

The reunited couple will marry this Saturday (October 12) at Green’s Farms Congregational — Diane’s family’s church. Chris has already joined the choir there.

And that led to one more heartwarming, we-know-our-love-was-meant-to-be story.

At rehearsal, Chris pulled out a folder of music. Written inside was the name “Bob McCoy.” Diane’s father died 12 years ago, but now he had one more connection with his daughter, and her at-long-last-husband-to-be.

“Diane and I are crazy about each other,” Chris says. “She was my 1st girlfriend, and the girl I was always in love with. I got so lucky. The angels are looking down on us.”

Chris and Diane today.

Chris and Diane on the eve of their marriage.

29 responses to “Chris And Diane: A Very Special Love Story

  1. Congratulations! Wonderful destiny!

  2. Cherie Quain

    Awesome!! Best wishes to the happy couple… Maybe set up a comments/message center for them??

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Ilene Mirkine

    What a wonderful story! Congratulations to Diane and Chris! ‘Wishing them a lifetime of love, happiness and good health!

  4. Gerry Kuroghlian

    I had both Chris and Diane as students at Staples. At times romance in life rivals and surpasses fiction. Congratulations to you both.

  5. Wish everything in life could be as wonderful as this story.

  6. What a lovely, touching story. And one that confirms my belief that Westport is indeed a magical place. Thanks for sharing, Dan!

  7. Awesome story! (And they didn’t even reconnect through Facebook.). Congrats to both.

  8. Armelle Daniels

    Well, thanks Dan… now I need to go redo my makeup!
    This story brought tears to my eyes, it is so touching and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Annie Rotberg

    A sweet story told by a masterful writer. Dan, you have a beautiful way with words and Susie has a magical way with photographs. What a masterpiece it would be if you two ever did a story together.

  10. Wonderful story – and now wonder it’s your favorite. I remember the McCoy family – Congratulations – and may you have many wonderful years together!

  11. Danny,

    Great story!! I know you had a fabulous time writing it!! Having known both Murr & Diane at Staples it so wonderful to see them finding each other after all these years!! Love prevails once again!! Congratulations Chris & Diane your story is truly heart warming and soooo special!! HI!! to both families, have an incredible week, and life together!!

    Tom Wall

  12. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70


  13. Great story! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations!

  14. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    I remember them both from school. What a great way to start a week!!!!

  15. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    I’m especially happy for Mrs. McCoy! I hope she’s well.

  16. Sara Dworken Braunstein

    Totally love this story. Makes even a snarky cynic like me smile. Congrats to the happy couple and thanks for the beautifully written journey, Dan.

  17. Aren’t they the best? Thanks, Dan!

  18. Sally Campbell Palmer

    The mailman just walked into the office and caught me reading this story with tears running down my cheeks…..congratulations to Diane and Chris!

  19. Richard Busch

    Great Story. Very heart warming. Congratulations to both on finding that true love that last forever.

  20. Lauriston avery

    I’m so glad I only had to wait ten years to marry my high school sweetheart, both of us for the first time…still.

  21. Such a sweet, heartening story–and a well-told one at that. Thanks, Dan, for making me cry. xox

  22. Beautiful story. I wish you the most wonderful lives together.

  23. A beautiful story! Congratulations, Chris and Diane!

  24. Jan Pendleton

    Sweet story, and some of us remember Phyllis McCoy as the Home Ec teacher at Coleytown JHS. She’s alive and well and living in a retirement community in Charleston, as is my mother.

  25. Sweet

    CraigK1QX Sent from my iPad


  26. kathy lanning

    Great story and congratulations!!

  27. Oh I so respected both of you in High School and you both are still so gorgeous and young!!! I LOVE this story! I will be singing “Goin to the Chapel and we’re …gonna get ma ah ah ried” In both your back pockets on Saturday!!!!! xoxoxoxo “The girl from Marion Road” Carol Birtwell 🙂

  28. From the moment I met Chris last winter at our Wednesday morning BNI meeting, he exuded unconditional love for Diane. He couldn’t help tell each of us his story, and we each listened intently like it was a story from decades ago but being rejuvenated as he spoke. One couldn’t help hugging him and feeling a piece of his joy, which he shared so freely. Not many eyes were dry as he spoke. Each week we were would ask “how are the plans coming?” Chris would update us with his usual beaming face. He was totally content, nothing in the world could make him happier than being reunited with Diane. Then one Wednesday, Chris wasn’t there. He had a Sub(stitute). When she introduced herself as Chris’s fiance’, it was so much fun. She was exactly as he described, beautiful, happy, positive, always smiling. I am so glad you both are fulfilling a lifelong dream. Keep enjoying everyday together. A friend always, Dee.

  29. Loved reading your story. Congratulations to you both. How exciting that after all these years apart, you both will be united as one in marriage on Saturday. You were meant to be together for life. I wish you both all the love, happiness, health & joy that is possible. Congratulations!!