Over the holidays, K2 had a special visit from Kress Royalty and we thought you’d enjoy hearing their story.
In the summer of 1948, Miss Alice was working in our very own Kress Department Store, on the corner of College and Lexington. On the lower floor, close to the lunch counter, she oversaw the hosiery counter that faced College Street. Sixteen year old Alice took her department store job very seriously (to the point of running down a shop-lifter who once rushed from the premises with nylons under his coat lapel). Well, one summer day, standing behind her counter, she looked up to the entrance of the store and caught sight of a young Cicero standing at the top of the stairs.
That twinkle in her eye has probably been there since 1948, but today Alice sparkles when she tells listeners that at that moment, Cicero thought, “That’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.” Sure enough, though sparks flew, proper behavior dictated that their glance across a crowded room was as close as they dared get. At least for the present. It was weeks before they met again in person, when Cicero (“CD”), newly moved to Asheville, bumped into Alice on the first day of school. They both happened to be scheduled for the same junior year English class. “The teacher sat us alphabetically,” Alice remembers, and that meant that CD was assigned to a desk just behind hers.
The rest, as we say, was history. The two wed right after their high school graduation and they have weathered 65 wonderful years of marriage since. When they recently dropped by Kress a few days before Thanksgiving, the happy couple were accompanied by their daughter and son-in-law. I was honored to sit with Miss Alice as she smiled sweetly and reminisced. I guess what they say is true – once in a very long while, meant-to-be love happens.
Ever since Alice and Cicero’s visit, I’ve had the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” playing in the back of my mind. Just a bystander to their walk down memory lane, I was privileged to catch a glimpse of a wonderful life. To all the love birds out there… Happy Holidays. And for those of us still looking, we ought to take a page from Alice’s story. Keep your eyes open. You may just find love where you least expect it.