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Trends : LOVE STORIES: : THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY : 'At Long Last Love'

February 13, 1987|ANN JAPENGA

From true love to stabbed-in-the-back love, from quick love to love that just won't die, View writers have chronicled looks at love in the '80s for Valentine's Day eve. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty, but all are true . . . even if love sometimes isn't.

Relationships were uncomplicated for Mina Meyer back in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Her pals were the kids who lived on her block; children who hung out elsewhere were simply not in the running. So it was natural that Meyer, at age 7, became fast friends with Sharon Raphael, the 5-year-old across the street who was usually seen in Buster Brown loafers with white socks.

The girls rode bicycles and played jacks, and together they faced up to the painful realization that their straight dark hair was just never going to be curly. Their relationship was smooth--until Mina moved away at age 12 and Sharon lost her older friend, her confidante. Twenty years later, life was more complex. Mina had been through a marriage and a divorce and was dating a new man. She was breakfasting with her boyfriend one morning at a cafe in Hermosa Beach where she was then living. An attractive, dark-haired woman approached her from across the diner and said: "Aren't you Mina Meyer from Cleveland, Ohio?"

Sure enough, it was Sharon-of-the-Buster-Browns. The two exchanged phone numbers and briefly caught up on school, career and love histories. When Sharon said, "I'm not married and I'm never getting married," Mina had an idea what Sharon was talking about.

This Valentine's Day will be the 15th that Mina Meyer and Sharon Raphael have celebrated as a couple. Raphael, 45, is a professor of sociology at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Meyer, 47, teaches part time in the university's graduate gerontology program.

The two occasionally make trips back to Cleveland Heights to visit family. And sometimes Sharon's mother still tells of the time the girl across the street moved, and how young Sharon stared out the window for a long time after her best friend drove away.

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