Everyone, meet Fred Stobaugh:
Fred is a 96-year-old man from East Peoria, Illinois and he is about to make you
cry believe in true, unadulterated love. Earlier this summer, Green Shoe Studio held an online singer/songwriter contest (probably in the hopes of finding the next Justin Bieber) where each entrant would submit a video showcasing their talents. But instead, they received something much more discerning: a few hand-written papers in a large manilla envelope with a single sentence written on the front: “P.S. I don’t sing, I would scare people… ha-ha.”
Before I delve deeper into this touching story, let’s rewind to 1938. This is the year that a gallon of gas cost 10 cents, Howard Hughes flew around the world, and Fred met the love of his life, Lorraine, at an A&W stand. After two years of courting, they were married in 1940 and spent the next 75 years by each other’s side. Despite Lorraine’s passing earlier this year, Fred’s admiration for her only grew stronger and one evening as he sat alone in the front room of their once-shared home, lyrics and a tune began to develop and with that, the song “Oh, Sweet Lorraine” was born.
Fred packaged up his moving tribute to his wife and sent it to the producer of Green Shoe Studio, Jacob Colgan. Colgan, like the rest of us, was deeply moved and although Stobaugh wasn’t the next big music sensation, he was a marvel in his own right. Soon, “Oh, Sweet Lorraine” was set to music and professionally recorded. Colgan mentions that their goal at the Studio is to “make dreams come true,” and although Fred’s particular “dream” of preserving his wife’s legacy didn’t involve the fame and stardom craved by most songwriters, it was able to capture something much more profound: the generosity of humanity, the beauty of music, and the power of love.
Get out the tissues, you’re gonna cry during this one.
Whew, what a welcomed switch from my last VMA-driven post and all of the excitement surrounding the rumored divorce of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom. Hearing this heart-warming story definitely puts into perspective quite a few things. For one, there are good, honest people hoping to make a positive impact left in this often combative world. And perhaps most pertinent, real-life fairytales do exist. Loving someone for 75 years is such a beautiful feat that not many people today can, or are willing to, achieve. I feel so fortunate to have the most wonderful parents and to have had 4 of the most amazing grandparents (who were married for 50+ years each) who always showed me the value in finding your best friend, your one true love, and cherishing them forever.
It’s a wonderful day to be married to my soulmate. ❤