We met during Vocal Week at the Augusta Folk Music Camp in Elkins, WV, in August 1994. We sat next to each other in Bob Franke's songwriting class. Charles wrote a Country & Western style song about leaving the business he had formed and Barb wrote about dancing with a bald-headed guy (the original inspiration being another bald-headed guy but Charles soon became the one it was dedicated to). We discovered we both like to waltz "aerobically" and first sailed across the dance floor together.
Our timing never seemed to work after that--one of us was always unavailable while the other was ready to date--until Halloween 1996. Charles dropped by Barb's house, in costume, just to say 'hi, let's at least be friends.' Our first kiss happened six weeks later after seeing "First Contact" together. We passed the relationship road test in March when we traveled to DC and Pittsburgh. And we became engaged in June 1997.
Barb was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She went to the University of Michigan and, after graduation, became rooted (and I mean rooted!) in Ann Arbor where she worked as a registered nurse for eight years. After spending three years at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary earning her Master of Divinity, Barb moved back to A2 and worked in Campus Ministry for four years. She was ordained in March of 1997 and was the temporary pastor of Northside Presbyterian Church until June of 1998.
Charles was born in Chester, PA and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and began his first company, Aule-Tek, with an RPI professor. His first move to Michigan brought him to Detroit in 1980 to do graduate work at Wayne State University. In 1984, he created a computer conferencing software package called Caucus. A world-wide-web form of Caucus is now the centerpiece of the company (http://caucuscare.com) that he helped grow. His "dance gypsy" days (photo) were spent between NY and MI and he settled in A2 after meeting Barb (what a coincidence!).