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Relationships Match: ‘I was not wealthy … she had great legs’

Garry and Andrea Leeson cut their wedding cake on an ironing board covered by a tablecloth.

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Who: Andrea Leeson, 71, retired; Garry Leeson, 76, retired

Relationship status: Together since 1971

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Location: Kingston, N.S.

Tall, dark and unavailable

Andrea: We met in 1971. I was in Toronto visiting a friend who was working at Central Don Stables. I wanted to go out and I said, ‘You must know some fellow who’s single, good looking and rich.’ She said, ‘Well there’s my boss …’

Garry: For the record, I was not wealthy when we met. Or single. But she made an impression on me. She had great legs.

Andrea: After we met that first night I went home to Montreal and I happened to be talking to this woman who told me she was engaged to a man from Toronto who owned a stable. It was Garry! I was shocked.

Garry: We were not engaged! I have no idea why she would have said that. I was casually dating a couple of women before I met Andrea. And I was separated. I definitely wasn’t looking for a serious relationship.

Andrea: One week later I was back in Toronto, moved into his place. We’ve been together ever since.

City girl goes country

Garry: We’d been dating for a few months when I told Andrea that I wanted to move back home to Nova Scotia. That was always my dream to get back to the land, but then I wind up dating this girl from Westmount.

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Andrea: I’ve always been the kind of person who’s up for anything. I think that’s part of what’s kept us going all these years. We both love trying new things. The amount of adventures we’ve had over the years ….

Garry: It wasn’t long before I had her on a boxcar with all of our belongings and four horses.

Andrea: He promised he’d build us a geodesic dome. And he did. But for a while there we were living in a chicken coop.

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DIY wedding

Garry: Our building project was put on hold when Andrea decided we had better get married. Actually it was her sister Joy’s idea, who was visiting at the time. She asked us why we weren’t, and I guess we didn’t have a good answer.

Andrea: We didn’t have a phone or anything. I remember I called my mom collect from a payphone in a parking lot. She flew over carrying a wedding cake on her lap and a paper tablecloth, glasses and a bottle of Dom Pérignon in her suitcase.

Garry: As I recall your mom had tears in her eyes when the Justice of the Peace uttered the words “for better or for worse.” I think she might have felt a little better leaving her daughter in the hands of a lawyer or a stockbroker.

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Andrea: We had a reception back on the property with the dome in the background. We didn’t have a table, but we had an ironing board, so we covered that in the tablecloth and set up the Champagne and the glasses and the cake. It was a great day.

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