Joe and Barbara’s love story almost began with a slap across the face.
Joe (BAE '62) and Barbara (BDES '63) met at a social at Georgia Seagle Hall on a Wednesday night. Barbara, who was in Phi Mu and a student in the formerly named College of Architecture and Fine Arts, was not planning to go because she had an important project due. However, her sisters managed to convince her to ditch the project and go to the social.
“When we arrived and walked inside, I paused under the archway in between the living/dining area,” Barbara said. “All of a sudden this tall, handsome, blue-eyed guy planted a kiss on my mouth! My immediate reaction was to haul off and slap his face but he was saved by his house mother. She pointed out that I was standing directly under mistletoe.”
Barbara explained to Joe that she didn't let a boy kiss her before the third date, let alone someone she didn't know. So Joe charmingly introduced himself by saying, “Hello. My name’s Joe Hart. What's yours?”
After that, they went on so many dates they lost count.
When Joe graduated, the two planned to wed.
"He sold his car for $250 to buy my engagement ring," Barbara said.
The couple got engaged on Sept. 15, 1962.
Barbara and Joe have now been together for over 55 years and have three children. They live in Lake Wales, Florida, where they enjoy painting, teaching a Bible study group for children and teaching art to an adult special needs group.
“We are still very much in love and thanking God that He put us together on that huge campus,” Barbara said.