Sparks fly at 40th Reunion


Photo courtesy Barnett Photographic Services

Lisa and Stanley Barnes, class of ’72, celebrate their wedding on Sept. 27, 2013. The pair fell in love after meeting up at their 40th Reunion on Sept. 28, 2012.

It was Sept. 28, 2012, the Friday night social in the Lower Gym before the Class of 1972’s 40th Reunion.
Lisa McLane nervously approached Stanley Barnes. He had come up to her a few hours prior and, even though they graduated from the same class, she could not figure out who the man standing in front of her was.

Finally, Stanley caught on. “You have no idea who I am, do you?” Stanley said.

After the awkward re-introductions, Stanley and Lisa parted. They talked again at the reunion the following night, but, when the night ended, Lisa went back to her home in Harford County and Stanley boarded a flight home to Kentucky.

The Barnes’ relationship began after Christmas. When Stanley came to Maryland to spend the holidays with his parents, the two went out for dinner.

“For him it was a date and I thought it was just getting together with a friend. So he explained to me on Christmas Eve when he was back in Kentucky that it was actually a date,” Lisa said.

But as they kept talking, the two realized they had a lot more in common than they first realized.

“Everything just kept getting curiouser and curiouser,” Lisa said.

For example, Lisa grew up riding horses while Stanley never had an interest in the sport. However, Stanley’s college major was in racetrack management and he spent 10-12 years in the horse business in Lexington, Ky.

After a year of 500 hours on the phone, five-inch-long daily emails, and flights between Kentucky and Maryland, the pair got married on Sept. 27, 2013.

The marriage took place at The Carriage House in Port Deposit, which is owned by classmate Martha Barchowsky. It was catered by MacGregor’s, which is owned by Dan Lee, class of ’70.

At first, neither wanted to attend the 40th Reunion. Lisa had attended the 10th reunion. Stanley went to the 10th reunion as well, but didn’t see Lisa. He also attended the 20th reunion, but only came to the 40th “to see what was going on.”

“There were so many things that were so similar between us that it just seemed like we were meant to be, so I never wondered what would’ve happened if I hadn’t attended the reunion,” Lisa said.

The pair stayed separate until Valentine’s Day. “[That] was our first official date weekend,” Lisa said.

Then, Stanley came up again for Easter and proposed on Easter Sunday.

“When you’re old, you don’t have a lot of time to waste,” Stanley said.

While they were attending JC, Stanley and Lisa were little more than acquaintances.

“We were in different circles, I mean it wasn’t a big class but it’s like anything else, there were certain social circles of people who socialized routinely, and others not,” Stanley said.

According to Lisa, Stanley was born popular. He was a jock and was in every aspect of student government. Lisa was in student government and in NHS. In their junior year, she participated in the Powderpuff game and was on the Ring Dance committee.

“I was over there doing my own thing, I was on the outside, watching everything that was going on,” Lisa said.

Recently, Lisa found a high school scrapbook she put together before going to college. Inside, she discovered Stanley’s yearbook picture and an engraved copperplate calling card that was customarily bought by all seniors with their graduation announcements. According to Lisa, Stanley must have been running for class officer and was handing them out to get students to vote for him.

“It’s stranger than fiction, that’s all we know,” Lisa said.

The couple has received emails of congratulations and well wishes from their former classmates. According to Lisa, a lot of their classmates are shocked at their marriage because they are still thinking about how Stanley and Lisa were like in high school.

“I think that part of the reason why we’re together is that we aren’t who we were 40 years ago,” Stanley said. “I think it was a timing thing. It’s just one of those things that is just completely unpredictable and a total mystery. And that’s what life is about.”

According to Lisa, Stanley always says that “Hollywood would love to get the script of us.”

Angela DeCarlo is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and