This past semester my writing was challenged in a class called Newswriting.
In this class we wrote feature stories, press releases and news briefs.
I think this class was very beneficial because public relations involves a lot of writing.
Below is a writing sample of my feature story, the topic was a city’s oldest couple celebrating Valentine’s day, so I decided to draw from personal experiences and wrote about my grandparents.
Things have changed since the days Cary Grant starred in black and white movies in the 50s, but one thing has stood the test of time, the love Larry Cleary has for his wife Cleo.
This Valentine’s Day will be the Mobile couple’s 65th anniversary of celebrating the holiday.
The high school sweethearts started dating when there was only one phone in each house hold that was attached to the wall. When Larry called Cleo she had to sit in a chair by the phone to talk to him, or if she was lucky, the cord was long enough and she could go sit on the couch.
Oh how the times have changed.
The two met on a windy day in Orange Beach, Ala., where they were introduced by a mutual friend.
“I thanked that friend in my speech to Cleo at our wedding,” Larry said. “If it weren’t for her, I would have never met the love of my life.”
The couple hit it off from that day forward, spending as much time together as possible. A few high school proms and graduations later, the couple remained in Mobile, Ala., where Larry went to Springhill College and Cleo worked a job at a local school.
After Larry graduated from Springhill in chemical engineering, he finally popped the question under the oak trees that surround the picturesque Springhill campus.
A year after the beautiful wedding, the couple welcomed a baby girl into the family, Laura. Not even a year later, they welcomed Laura’s Irish twin, Rance. In the next few years they welcomed three more children, Pam, Lynne and Chuck.
“We were always very busy, with work and the kids, it was a balancing act, but I would not have done it any other way,” Cleo said.
“My number one piece of advice for couples today is to take your time,” Larry said. “The trend nowadays is about getting things done quickly, like getting married after only a short time dating someone. I was in love with Cleo for seven years before I could ask her to marry me, but it all worked out the way it was supposed to.”
The couple is actively involved in Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church on Burma Road, where Larry worked before he retired in 2010. The couple is usually making road trips up Interstate- 65 to see their grandchildren and family. They plan to stay in the same house they raised their five children in, and enjoy the time they have with each other.