Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mrs. Leroy Cooper

Clemmie & Leroy Cooper, (c) Charles Wells Photography 2007


It was a joy working with Leroy Cooper and becoming close friends with him as he told me his many stories. Leroy was such a special man. It should have come as no surprise, then, when I got to know his wife, Clemmie.

The first time Leroy saw Clemmie's picture he said he knew she was the one. He had probably known many women before her and had been married and divorced twice. This time, he had seen the woman who captured his heart and soul. Getting to know Clemmie these last few years, I could understand why he felt that way.

They had been married over 30 years when I met them and his face still lit up when she entered the room. When she spoke of him her eyes brightened and she consistently said, "What a sweet man." She was delighted by his smile, his demeanor and his music. And he was absolutely taken by her beauty, gentility and loving ways. If any two people were meant for each other, Leroy and Clemmie defined those terms.

Imagine being Leroy, a member of the Ray Charles band in 1977 when the band was beginning to peak. Then meeting a woman that affected him so much that he would quit the band and take a job at Disney where people didn't know who he was or anything about his musical background. To be with Clemmie, Leroy took that leap of faith and never regretted it for a single moment.

2 comments:

Tom Bailey said...

Sounds like a true love story.

Susan Cross said...

I have no reason to think that what went on behind closed doors was any different. They had such a beautiful connection.