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Tom Blake

By Tom Blake

During the 26 years that I’ve written about finding love after 50, readers have shared multiple romance success stories with me. I love hearing them.

Heather, 67, a Dana Point resident, recently shared her story.

Heather wrote, “My husband died in his sleep, May 2016, while we were celebrating our daughter’s 30th birthday on Oahu. It was horrible.

“Many people told me, ‘Look out, you are fit, funny, you cook, you are independent; men will seek you out.’ It was the last thing in the world I was thinking about. I had a pile of work to get through, let alone the slowness of Hawaii for the death certificate and autopsy for my children.”

Eight months later, in January 2017, Heather and some women friends were enjoying themselves at the Swallow’s Inn, the popular country music bar in San Juan Capistrano.

Heather’s friends were originally from Battle Creek, Michigan. So, when her friends saw a man enter the Swallow’s wearing a cap with a University of Michigan block “M” on the brim, her friends went over to talk to him. His name was Reuben; coincidently, he was also from Battle Creek.

Heather said, “I was sitting by myself as they were chatting it up and then they hollered over, ‘Heather, come here.’ I was smitten when I met Reuben.

Reuben and Heather being “goofy” together. Photo: Courtesy of Heather Knotts

“It took until March that he wanted my phone number. Our first date was on April Fool’s Day. We went to StillWater (Spirits & Sounds, a Dana Point bar), and everyone wanted to be our friend.

“We are a biracial couple; I think my very tan skin and his beautiful black skin were an attraction to people. Also, we are both very friendly and accepting. He is the love of my life and partner.

“I love to cook and bake for him and keep a clean home. I work out five days a week, and he does, too. We are fit, healthy, goofy together, and we love it. 

“Reuben, 62, is handy around the house; he can fix anything. He was slowly bringing tools over, and we were together all the time. In 2018, Reuben moved in with me when his roommates disbanded. It just made sense.

“Everywhere we go, Reuben has a Chicago Bears or Michigan Wolverines cap and/or mask on. These always initiate a conversation.”

I love this story. I admit I am biased, because I grew up in Jackson, Michigan, 30 miles from Battle Creek. Plus, I graduated from the University of Michigan and am a big fan.

Vince Monfils and Julie Green, known as the “logo hat specialists,” run their hat booth at the Dana Point Farmers Market. Photo: Tom Blake

There are two dating lessons in Heather’s and Reuben’s story.

Lesson One: Hats and masks with logos can be conversation starters for senior singles.

Wearing a hat (and/or mask) with a college, pro-sports name, or something fun on the brim, is an effective tool for singles who would like to meet a mate. They can open conversation doors, which is why those Battle Creek women approached Reuben, leading to his love story with Heather.

If you don’t have a hat with an ice-breaker logo, and if you live in South Orange County, on Saturdays, go to the Dana Point Farmers Market and check out Vince Monfils’ and Julie Green’s booth. They are the “logo hat specialists.”

Lesson two: Hey, guys, to win her heart, slowly bring your handyman tools when you are doing maintenance on her home. Leave them at her home. Soon, you’ll have so many tools there that she’ll have no choice but to invite you to move in.

Tom Blake is a retired Dana Point business owner and resident who has authored books on middle-aged dating. See his website at To comment:

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