Huffpost Fifty

Long Lost Loves Reunite 35 Years After Summertime Romance

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Back in the summer of 1978, while jogging on a beach in the Hamptons, Gay Cioffi met a handsome, bearded fellow named Mark Obenhaus.

She was 27, an assistant in an art studio for the summer and recently separated from her first husband. He was a 32-year-old documentary filmmaker, also separated from his first wife. There was an immediate attraction.

“He just walked up to me basically to say hello as I arrived,” Cioffi told The New York Times. "That was it. I moved into Mark’s house that night."

They enjoyed sunsets, music by Steely Dan, and hours upon hours of talking and laughing. They also engaged in a lot of people-watching, since writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron and her then-husband Carl Bernstein were staying only a few houses down. Even so, they both thought the summertime romance to be an ephemeral one. Cioffi recalled writing in her journal, “I’ve met this perfect person, but the timing is all wrong, and I really need to be independent and figure some things out.”

They went their separate ways and married separate people. They raised families and enjoyed successful careers. And, every once in awhile, they recalled each other fondly.

In 2002, Obenhaus’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then brain cancer. He was at her side during some very tough years before her death in 2008. A friend told The New York Times that he recalled a heartbroken Obenhaus vowing never to marry again. Cioffi's own second marriage had ended years before.

When Ephron died in June 2012, both Cioffi and Obenhaus found themselves awash in memories of their summer encounter. And so, with some encouragement from a niece, Cioffi found Obenhaus on Facebook and sent him a friend request, which he promptly accepted. He invited her to dinner -- she was based in Washington, D.C., he in New York City -- and all the old feelings resurfaced.

mark

To find out what happened next, read the New York Times story in its entirety here.

This isn't the first long-lost-love story we've heard this summer. Only a few weeks ago, we wrote about how Heather and Michael Osbourne reunited 24 years after a chance meeting on the QE2. And Facebook has certainly helped reunite other long lost loves. But this story is undoubtedly one of the loveliest.

Do you have a long-lost love story to share with us? Email us at SayItOnHuffPost50@huffingtonpost.com. (PR pitches are not accepted at this address.)

(h/t New York Times)

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