Sixty-six years of marriage and a new book

Fiction writer and psychotherapist Amy Bloom said, “Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.” Although a Taiwanese couple married for 86 years holds the world’s record for a marriage, Montecito residents Dan and Judy Chase have been married 66 years and heading for their own record books. Judy has recently written a book called “She Only Wants a Horse,” which chronicles the Chase’s family life and their daughter’s desire to have a horse.

Dan and Judy met in grammar school where, according to Dan, Judy was “well known,” because her mother was a revered schoolteacher. Dan was an aspiring dance bandleader in high school, who went on to publish a song called “We Dream” that was inspired and dedicated to Judy. After both taught at schools for several years, they went on to financially successful careers in real estate and consulting.

The Chases confided their secrets of longevity in both marriage and life: “In our marriage, we appreciated each other and worked as a team. When our son’s home was flooded, we were out there helping him clean up the debris. We both have worked hard in our life, balancing success with being humble,” Dan shares, adding that in life, he credits the basics to longevity. “We go to bed early, live sanely, and try to eat right,” he says. This includes going out for lunch almost daily to local restaurants like Montecito Café and Brophy Brothers.

Judy is currently working on a sequel to her book, which will be released in the next three months.

“She Only Wants a Horse” can be found at local bookstores.

Banker To The Poor

Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his use of microcredit loans to lift people out of poverty. Now, a website called Kiva enables anyone with a computer and $25 to do the same. The website profiles several people across the world looking for specific loan amounts to start a business or remodel their home. Sven Hagen, a Cold Spring parent, used Kiva to educate his son Wyatt about world economics and ended up choosing a Kenyan woman named Lena Kiboro as the recipient of his loan. “I am a married mother of three children,” Lena writes on her profile. “I am the main bread earner. I sell charcoal for a living.” A picture of a smiling Lena bending over a heap of coal accompanies an update on how much she has raised. Kiva operates by partnering with existing microfinance institutions and has the support of impressive corporate partners such as PayPal, Starbucks, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Boasting a repayment rate of 99.69%, Kiva is an inexpensive way to learn about and help others in the world. Sven Hagen, who has worked internationally, thinks this website is revolutionary. ”I think [Kiva] is brilliant. I like the idea that you’re able to give directly to the people and learn about the world. After Wyatt and I chose Lena, we looked up Kenya to learn more about it.”

The website is www.kiva.org