Thanks to Alberto Pola, CCAS BA ’81, and Lucinda Pola, CCAS BA’ 81, for sharing their story with us!
Sometimes, the universe works extra hard to bring two people together. Such is the case with Al and Lucy Pola, who, but for fate, would never have gone out on a first date.
“On a spring day our junior year, I was walking past the Quad with my good friend, Steve, when for no reason whatsoever, I felt compelled to look behind me,” says Al Pola, CCAS BA ’81. “Following us was a beautiful girl dressed in overalls. I told Steve to stop and we let her walk past.” They watched Lucy Pola, CCAS BA ’81 turn into the Law School Administration building, and making the assumption she was a grad student, Al’s hopes were dashed. “A grad student would never go out with me,” he remembers thinking.
End of story? Not yet.
Turns out, Lucy wasn’t a grad student. She just worked at the law school. One day, standing in front of the Marvin Center, Al again caught sight of the mysterious girl. He also saw her turn into Everglades Hall (now Fulbright Hall), which was where Steve lived. But despite the coincidence, Al and Steve were still unable to figure out who she was.
Fast forward a few weeks to a fraternity party, where Al was in attendance with a date. A good friend walked down the stairs and into the party—with Lucy. “My friend introduced us,” Al says of that red-letter moment. “Lucy and I chatted for a few minutes and then parted ways.”
Thank goodness for mutual friends, because at this point, Al knew he had to ask her out. His buddy, Lon, who was also friends with Lucy, agreed to deliver the message. But before that could even happen, Al was on a double date with two other friends, only to discover they were all cooking dinner one floor above where Lucy lived.
That did it. Al slipped out, tromped downstairs, and knocked on Lucy’s door.
“Lucy’s roommate answered,” Al recalls. “Lucy wasn’t in, so I left a note, which, if memory serves me correctly, read something like this: Lucy, came by to ask you out but you weren’t home. Give me a call if you are interested. Al”
Lucy called the next day. Al took her on a whirlwind date that included drinks, dinner, a movie, a tour of the boathouse where Al rowed for GW, and a stroll around Watergate. They talked the whole time and made plans to go out again—and again.
“We became engaged at graduation and were married a year later,” says Al. “Today, 34 years and three children later, I remain married to my best friend, the true love of my life.” It still amazes Al that the whole time he was trying to figure out who Lucy was, they both knew many of the same people.
“Believe in what you will, something was having me figure out through this [search] whether Lucy was truly the woman I would spend the rest of my life with,” says Al. “The answer, clearly, was yes.”—Mary Follin