CARY — When Jim Taylor asked Barbara Blalock to marry him from his hospital bed, it resulted in some confusion – largely because Taylor was still feeling the effects of anesthesia and didn’t remember doing it.
“I thought he was kidding that he didn’t remember it,” a newly-christened Barbara Taylor said Saturday. “He thought I was kidding that he proposed.”
On Saturday, the couple fond of joking around left no doubt regarding the seriousness of their love. The 81-year-old groom married his 73-year-old bride in front of about 90 people at Jordan Oaks retirement community in Cary.
The couple met last fall as Barbara visited a friend at Jordan Oaks, and it did not take long for it to be clear they belonged together. Jim Taylor’s nephew and best man, Artis Taylor Jr., said he saw the chemistry when he first met her in December.
“He had been dating another girl before, and I didn’t feel a vibe,” Artis Taylor said. “(Barbara) was immediately like family.”
Jim proposed about three months after he formally started dating Barbara. (Their first date alone away from Jordan Oaks was at a Wendy’s). But the two – each having married once before – have reached an age where, as Artis Taylor and others noted, neither had the time nor interest in the evasive games that can come with dating.
Well, they did without most of the games.
“I asked her how she would like to have dinner with me. She said, ‘I don’t know you.’ So I said, ‘My name is Jim Taylor, so when are we going to go out?’ ” the groom said after the wedding.
Though she initially rebuffed the popular Jordan Oaks resident prankster’s blunt pickup attempts, eventually Barbara continued to visit her friend and got a better insight into him. What started slow evolved quickly. And the age gap, though she teased him about it, didn’t slow them down a bit.
“I really didn’t know what to think, he was always joking and kidding, which is good, I like to carry on as well,” Barbara said. “Then I got to know the real Jim.”
After the ceremony on Saturday, the two said how happy they were. The ceremony was short and sweet, and their family and friends came to congratulate them.
Jim, a retired serviceman with 26-plus years in the Air Force, plans to move out of Jordan Oaks to live with Barbara in Fuquay-Varina. He said she told him she’d have considered moving into Jordan Oaks with him had she not owned a home.
“She’s going to let me come back Tuesday nights and play poker,” Jim said.
At that point, another resident stepped in to dispute Jim’s motivations.
“He’s not telling you the truth,” Jim Medlin said. “The rent collector is after him.”
Along with family and other residents of the retirement community, Barbara was joined by three other classmates from Angier High, with Peggy Williford serving as the maid of honor.
The couple initially weren’t going to get married quite as fast but ultimately decided to get their life together started quickly. They say they want to make the best of every day.
“I’m happy,” Jim said. “I’m very fortunate to get a lovely bride.”
“And I’m very fortunate to get a handsome dude,” Barbara chimed in.
Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland