Hundreds of Orange residents know Bob and Marian Drobish, either through their involvement in the Orange Lions Club, the Wednesday morning Laughter Club, or even their relationship to the award winning Amity Theater Department — Rob Kennedy is their son-in-law (married to daughter Andrea).
The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last weekend — all weekend, thanks to their creative children and grandchildren.
Bob and Marian always support the theater, both are actors and singers, in fact, one night Bob was a special guest actor in Amity’s production of Legally Blonde. So, it’s no surprise that they spent the night before their anniversary at the theater — attending their daughter’s summer camp show.
When they arrived home they immediately noticed something strange inside their living room, a beautiful bright Christmas tree.
A Christmas tree in July? Yes, a lovely tree covered in gold ornaments, gold bows, gold bells gold presents under the tree. All for their Golden Anniversary.
“Oh, those crazy kids, they only had 90 minutes to set it up,” Marian said. “We are so lucky.”
What a wonderful anniversary surprise, but wait, Bob and Marian are the parents of Andrea, Dee Dee and Robert. It’s not over yet.
Their children and grandchildren waited outside on Friday night, giggling and shooshing each other on the front lawn waiting for the bedroom light to go out. The moment it did, they got to work.
The following morning, July 28, 2012, 50 years to the day that they tied the knot. Bob walked into the kitchen and began to laugh hysterically.
Marion came out to see what was so funny and joined him with her own silly laughter.
The couple gazed out upon their front lawn which was completely covered with 50 pink flamingos and 50 pinwheels.
They laughed even harder when the lawn guy came over and attempted to ride his lawnmower in between the plastic birds.
On Sunday morning, Bob and Marian went to church services at Holy Infant. They knew the new priest was going to bless their marriage, and they were excited to spend the special occasion with friends and family.
What they didn’t know is that their family had arranged for them to renew their vows. Andrea had brought beautiful bouquets and the priest included two of the granddaughters in the ceremony.
Marian was delighted, “It made the children feel special.”
After church, the couple returned home, and the mystery and celebration continued.
They were told to answer the phone at a certain time and follow the directions exactly as given.
“Our kids remember everything, songs that were important to us, places we took them when they were little … our first message led us to Jimmy’s Restaurant on the beach in West Haven,” Marian said.
When we arrived (for lunch) we were told how long the wait would be and Andrea said, “Why don’t we walk to the gazebo?”
“I asked her, ‘Why walk all the way to the gazebo when we’re just waiting for a table?’” Marian said.
“She said, ‘Oh, it’s a good place to take pictures.’”
As they walked with their family Bob and Marian were approached by a few young boys and girls who began dancing to music that came wafting through the air. SEE VIDEO HERE. More and more dancers joined in and Marian and Bob were led to the gazebo where they had a nice slow romantic dance.
Marian thanked all the talented kids who took part in the celebration as well as her entire family.
When they returned home, They noticed that their family left a path of flower petals in the hallway leading to the bedroom where the remaining petals formed a heart on their bed.
“We were so exhausted when we got home, that we just flopped down and went to sleep,” she said.
Summing up the anniversary weekend, Marian reflected on the family she and Bob made together.
“Our kids thought of everything, they all have good hearts and they are so kind,” she said. “We are so blessed to have a wonderful family and friends. We are overwhelmed with joy. The kids are so wonderful to do all of this for us.”
… Once Upon A Time
Marian and Bob met 54 years ago in the (first come, first served system) registration line at Southern CT University.
She was a Freshman, he was a transfer student. She was working her way up to the front of the line, flitting from friend to friend so she could be number one.
Bob was with another fellow that she knew near the front of the line. Her friend said hello and quickly introduced her to the dashing young Drobish.
In that fleeting moment, she said “Hi” but had only one thing on her mind, being first in line.
“There was a mixer at night and I was with my crew of freshman in a pack, and Bob came over and asked me to dance,” she said.
They danced a couple of numbers, and then one of her friends pulled her away. When she turned around, Bob was gone.
They found each other again during the placement exam.
Bob asked Marian to the Homecoming Dance; they went out together for four years; graduated in June and were married on July 28, 1962.