Fortune smiles on Edmonds couple turning 77 together

Is the number 7 lucky?

This seasoned married couple is betting on it.

Roger and Jeanne Bray both turn 77 on April 27.

“That’s 77-77 on the 27th,” Jeanne said. “With all those 7s, we’re thinking it has to be very lucky.”

Guess where they’re heading on April 27? That’s right. The casino. They’re spending the night at Angel of the Winds in Arlington to celebrate.

The Edmonds couple’s shared birthdate has been a source of enjoyment in their nearly 55 years of wedlock. They were born 90 minutes apart on April 27, 1938.

“I was born at 10:30 in the morning,” Jeanne said.

“And I was at noon,” Roger said, “so I’m second in command automatically.”

She arrived at Swedish Hospital in Seattle and he came into the world in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“So we weren’t twins,” she said.

They go to Angel of the Winds almost every week for an hour or so.

“I consider it a senior center,” Roger said.

“It’s senior day care,” Jeanne said. “We’re not really gamblers. It’s a fun thing to do as long as you don’t get out of control.”

They’ve earned the right to have a little fun. Heck, a lot of fun. Both are retired elementary teachers from the Edmonds district. Jeanne taught fourth grade and Roger had sixth graders. She was no-nonsense and his favorite saying was “It is what it is.”

He’s been saying that decades before it was a popular thing to say. Jeanne believes he coined it.

They met 57 years ago when their best friends, who were dating, fixed them up on a blind double date.

“It was OK,” she said.

“It was a good movie,” he said.

After the show, they went parking with the other couple.

“We were sitting in the back seat. They were in the front seat fogging up the windows,” he said.

“He invited me to go for a walk,” she said.

On the next date, she introduced him to her parents and he called them by the wrong name. When he took her home she reached around to get her sweater and he thought she was making a move on him, so of course he assisted.

It only got better from there.

They married two years later, lived overseas during his military service and had two daughters, Gayle and Leslie.

The years flew by. Before they knew it, they were retired, with time to travel and play with their grandkids.

They added a weekly jaunt to a casino to their regimen when Angels of the Winds opened in 2004. It’s a pleasant drive in their Prius, and Jeanne likes the discount at the fuel station using their casino club card.

They have a set routine of penny slot machine action.

“I play the Wild Bears. She plays the Mona Lisa’s,” he said.

So, no, they don’t sit next to each other and hold hands.

“Sometimes I have to hold his hand to pull him out the door,” she said.

They often run into former students, some who are now grandparents themselves.

“They say, ‘Hi, Mr. Bray, I was in your class,’?” he said.

Their modest jackpots haven’t landed them in the Winners Gallery. Not even close, but who knows what will happen on April 27.

“She loses more but she also wins more,” Roger said. “She has more points than I do.”

He’s happy with pocket change. He collects slot vouchers to cash in for coins to count and wrap at home.

“It’s kind of a crazy little thing,” Jeanne said. “With his beginning problem with (his) memory, it’s very good that he does something like this. It keeps him a little bit sharper.”

As Roger would say: “It is what it is.”

Send What’s Up With That? suggestions to Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown. Read more What’s Up With That? at www.heraldnet.com/whatsup.

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