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It was “bump” at first sight on the 23 Dawes Road TTC bus 50 years ago.

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Well that’s how Jeanne Searle, 76, and her husband, Carl, 85, remembered their chance meeting at the rear doors of the bus.

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“We were at the back doors hanging onto the bar, and she just happened to bump into me,” said Carl. “And that’s how it all started.”

“We got talking, and obviously I liked what I saw, so I continued.”

As Carl told the story outside Main St. subway station before boarding the bus early Tuesday afternoon,  Jeanne nodded and giggled in the sunshine.

While their official 50th wedding anniversary won’t be celebrated until Jan. 18, 2025, “I think this is the most important anniversary,“ said Carl.

Jeanne added Tuesday marked the “second time we have come back to ride the bus. The last time was 20 years ago on our 30th.”

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The story about their meeting, said Jeanne, started about two months before the bump on the bus when she spotted Carl “in a crowded subway station” at Yonge and Bloor. On her way home that day, Carl vanished into the crowd and onto the train.

“We never met for another two months,” said Jeanne.

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And it wasn’t until she got on the Dawes bus at Main St. station back on April 16, 1974 that she spotted him again and “accidentally” bumped into him, well several times before they started chatting.

By the time she got off the bus at her place along the Dawes route, and Carl exited at 506 Dawes Rd., Carl had her name and contact information. He later called her at work.

About a week later, he set up a date night, and they went to the Yorkdale theatres to watch American Graffiti and the next day, they went to a dance at his club where he played cricket.

“And from there on in, that’s how we ended up here now.” The couple now have three grown children.

Jeanne grew up in Warren, Pa., and moved to Washington D.C. before deciding to make Toronto her home in 1973-74. She had put in job applications to work at a downtown Toronto law firm.

By the time they met, Carl had already been in Toronto for some time after moving from Barbados to work in the financial field with an investment firm.

The 20-minute-plus trip on the bus on Tuesday was full of hugs and a lot of looking out the windows to witness how times and places have changed — but not their memories.

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