“Margaret was American, but grew up as an expat kid, largely in Brazil. Doug was interested in foreign languages and took Portuguese classes at Duke.”
Margaret (née Meads) and Douglas Nordlinger met for the first time on the bus connecting the East and West campuses of Duke University. Margaret transferred to Duke for her junior year and was living in what was then called the Central Campus Apartments. Fortuitously, Doug and his roommate decided to move for their junior year from the dorms on West Campus to the Central Campus Apartments, which were brand new at the time. Margaret and Doug lived one building apart on Oregon Street, in the middle Duke’s Central Campus.
One time while the bus was driving from Oregon Street to West Campus, Margaret turned to Doug and asked him what the time was, either to strike up a conversation or because she was worried to be late for class. Doug was delighted by the question and pretty much (no, completely and forever) “had” by Margaret at that moment.
Margaret was American, but grew up as an expat kid, largely in Brazil. Doug was interested in foreign languages and took Portuguese classes at Duke. Professor Miller, the Portuguese professor then at Duke, invited all his students to a bar-b-q at his home.
Margaret and Doug both went to the party. Margaret was sitting with the other students who had lived for at least some time as expats in Brazil and were conversant or even fluent Portuguese speakers.When Professor Miller introduced Doug to Margaret, Margaret acted as though she never met or even encountered Doug (which was awkward for Doug), and Doug wondered whether this was the same woman he met on the bus, since this woman looked just like her but spoke Portuguese like a native Brazilian, and the woman he met on the bus spoke English as if she was born and raised in California, without a hint of a foreign accent. In any event, they spent time together at the party and the entire issue of whether or not Margaret was “the girl on the bus” was forgotten.
From that day on, Margaret and Doug each made an effort to arrive at the Oregon Street bus stop at exactly the same time, so they could meet up and spend time together. They started to date soon afterwards. It almost became a joke between them, but it was on Oregon Street and the Central Campus bus route where they fell in love. Did we tell you that there will always be a special place in each of our hearts for the Central Campus bus?