After All These Years Longtime Couples Share Their Secrets
February 15, 2002
Laura Horman’s theory on marriage is similar to her theory on automobile accidents.
“If people just showed a little more common courtesy, far less marriages would end in divorce, and there would be fewer car wrecks, too,” Horman said, tenderly taking the hand of her husband Dan, who she’s been with for more than 55 years.
The two East Coast natives met in San Francisco during WWII, and were married in Reno on New Years Day 1947. In 1950, they moved up to Truckee, where they’ve lived ever since.
Horman said paying compliments to one another is important to a healthy relationship, too.
“You should tell your wife that she looks nice, and things like that. People don’t seem to do that as much as they should,” she said.
With so many marriages collapsing inside the courtroom these days, some may wonder how couples such as this one have made it work for so long.
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This Valentine’s Day, the Sierra Sun decided to take a look at some of the longest married couples in Truckee to uncover the secrets of their success.
Across town from the Horman’s, another longtime local couple, Don and Diana Casler, is edging up on their 49th wedding anniversary. The two were childhood friends, who were separated and then reunited again at then end of high school. They’ve been together ever since.
“I admire the fact that Diana is very caring, and also that she was still the best looking gal at our 50th high school reunion,” Don said. “I plain lucked out when I met her.”
That doesn’t mean that things have always been easy for the couple, owners of the Century 21 real estate office in Truckee, especially when business problems tango with matters of the heart.
“There’s been times when I’ve been crying and walked out of the office in a huff,” Diana said. “I’d be lying if I said we’d never talked about divorce.”
The couple said that they’ve learned that the key to navigating safely through these rocky times has been recognizing that each person needs their own space.
As for young people just starting out in a marriage, Diana would tell them that every relationship is going to have its problems.
“You’ve just got to work at finding solutions to those problems,” she said. “The grass may look greener on the other side, but it never really is.”
Both couples also cited spending quality time with their children and families as key to keeping a relationship strong and healthy.
“Our five wonderful children and our grandchildren are really our claim to fame,” Don said.
The Horman’s two daughters have also played a huge role in the couple’s life.
One of the greatest moments in their marriage came when their daughters threw them a 50th anniversary bash at the Truckee Hotel.
“Everyone we knew was there. We had 80 people even though the town was flooded at the time,” Dan said.
Another key ingredient in both of these marriages seemed to be finding activities both spouses enjoy, as well as taking time out to do those activities.
“We’re both very talkative people, so we’ve been really active in the local historical society, leading fireside chats and such,” Laura said.
The Horman’s also play duplicate bridge and try to take one trip together each year.
Aside from traveling, the Caslers devote much of their time to various service clubs in the community, which allows them to have their own time, yet also brings them together.
Recently, the couple helped out with the Interclub’s spaghetti dinner and bingo night to benefit the Senior Meals program.
While Don is an active member and past president of the Truckee Lions club, Diana is both a member of the Soroptimists club and president of the Truckee Lionesses.
In the end, Laura Horman said there’s really no one thing, but rather years of trial and error, that keeps a marriage strong.
“I mean, does anyone really know what the secret to a happy marriage is?” she said smiling at her husband.