Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

February 2, 2014

Two become one

Bourffs have been married 57 years, but it wasn't love at first sight

Dan Bourff and Barbara Fretz shared just about every class together since 1938 when they were both in kindergarten.

But it would be more than a decade before they saw each other as more than just friends.

"This was never a love at first sight thing," Barbara said. "We knew each other too long."

They didn't know each other too well during those first few years at McKinley School. They didn't live in the same neighborhood, so they didn't run around in the same circles.

In fact, when they look through old photos from Barbara's parties during those early years, Dan is missing from them.

"I was just a stumblebum, I guess," Dan laughed. "She had all these kids’ parties and invited all these kids, but I'm not in any of those photographs."

Barbara said she didn't know him well enough to extend an invitation to him, and he also lived too far away from her Walnut Street home at the time.

"He was just a boy in the class," Barbara said. "I didn't think about him. He was a nice boy and everybody liked him, but not in a girl-boy way."

When they were 12, Dan's family moved onto Walnut Street, only 10 doors down from Barbara's family. Barbara was excited that someone she knew was moving onto the same street.

Still, there was nothing more than friendship between the two. At school, Barbara was one of the tallest in the class and Dan was the shortest. They never thought of being a couple.

"Nobody liked little Danny Bourff," Dan laughed. "I was a runt. I'd be the last guy picked for anything."

On Friday nights, groups of girls and boys would dance at the Congo Club at First Congregational Church in Kokomo. It was a way to keep kids off the streets. Barbara said Dan never asked her to dance, and Dan said he never had a lot of girls dancing with him.

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