By Lee Yousri
Let me explain the “Happy” immediately. While Nancy (that’s the correct moniker) was overseeing a group of Girl Scouts, it was a requisite that everyone have a nickname. Her brood bestowed “Happy” on her which stuck forever more; and rightly so—we have here an enthusiastic lover of life.
Although Happy was born in Buffalo, she can barely claim New York State as her birthright since the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when she was six weeks old. She met Wally, a true Floridian, (yes, actually, he was born in Lakeland and stayed there) through a friend and they found the dovetailing of their interests as well as their shared roster of friends was nothing short of uncanny. This was the second “go-around” for each of them and it was meant to be; they met in March and were married in June, thirty years or so ago, according to Happy.
Happy made use of her degree in Chemistry and enjoyed many interesting and satisfying positions.
One of the highlights was a published paper in the Journal of Chromatography concerning the identification of amino acids.
Her hobbies are as diverse as crocheting and flying—yes, as a pilot—besides scuba diving, “beanie babies,” and bridge.
Another activity, boating, is connected to Wally, so let’s go to him. Wally earned a degree in Business from the University of Florida after two years at the University of the South in Sewannee, where he pledged Sigma Nu. He worked in the field of agricultural chemicals. When he retired, he got a Coast Guard Masters license and a passionate love of the water burgeoned into a lifetime of pleasure on the seas.
After some escapades in smaller boats, the Grahns became the proud owners of a Hatteras 45-foot “sport fisherman.” They went on countless excursions to the Keys and the Bahamas and have many a tale to tell.
One of their most interesting experiences was the tagging of a marlin. After it is caught, a pole reaches towards the dorsal fin and is embedded there. A note in plastic is attached to the edge, stating when and where it was caught. This informs the second person who might reel it in as to how far it has migrated and this information is reported to the Bill Fish Association. As an aside—Wally is also passionate about gourmet food and is an excellent cook.
To conclude: Wally has two living children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren to which Happy adds her two children and five grandchildren. They have had an adventurous life; we hope Plymouth Harbor won’t be too tame for them!