David and I were “Watergate babies.”
When Republican operatives broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, we were just kids. But we both grew up in houses where the evening news blared the stories and the morning newspapers filled in the details. We matured with a consciousness of the power of the press.
When Richard Nixon resigned, I felt I’d witnessed the “fourth estate” at work, and stood transfixed before the TV. I began to imagine that someday I would have a hand in uncovering political corruption the way Woodward and Bernstein did in the Washington Post.
David’s psyche was equally marked. We met at The New Haven Register and fell in love in the newsroom.
Between covering local zoning boards, we zoned in on our common passions, sharing long conversations over dinners, on leisurely walks, and on Sunday mornings with the newspaper spread out between us. We decided early that if the relationship had a chance, we'd need to give it time to grow quietly, away from our colleagues who were, after all, essentially paid gossips.
We did well. Most of our colleagues failed to notice the flirtatious glances across the newsroom or observe my sudden interest in hanging around his desk.
Outside of work, we talked shop. I was amazed that David would listen so attentively as I waxed on about the intricacies of the latest city council meeting and the slime-bucket tendencies of a certain local official. I hung on every word he told me about trying to ferret out information on a local charity that might have been misusing funds. We laughed a lot — and hard — over the often ridiculous characters who populated the newsroom.
Our secret romance was outed about six months later when we’d finished our weekly 6 am tennis game. We were sitting at a traffic light downtown, when who should pull up in the car next to us but the biggest mouth in the newsroom. We looked over at him. He looked at us.
We were busted.