Couple find each other through Craigslist

Photo credit: Shellie Smitley

Beverly and Ray Henry, Madison, met on Craigslist and were married in August 2016.

 

ShellieSmitley@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Congress passed HR 1865 “FOSTA” March 21. If President Trump signs it into law, victims of sex trafficking will be able to sue tech companies for enabling sex traffickers to target them online. Craigslist took down its Personal Ads section March 22 in order to minimize the risk of criminal and civil liability by users who misuse the section, according to a post in the Personal Ads section.

“To the millions of spouses, partners and couples who met through Craigslist, we wish you every happiness,” the post reads.

Beverly and Ray Henry of Madison are one of the couples that found marital bliss on the website.

“I am glad we met before they shut it down,” Ray said and then laughed with his bride of almost two years.

In Feb. 2016, Beverly, 59 at the time, lived in Oregon, but knew she was going to move closer to her family in Georgia. She posted on Craigslist she would like to have someone, as a friend, show her around the Peach State.

“I had never been to Georgia,” she said .“The only person that replied was Ray.”

Ray, 69 at the time, had also posted an ad under the personals section. He was looking for companionship.

“I was just looking for a woman who wanted to get together, because I was an old man,” he said and then added while he laughed, “I remember this one lady said, ‘what makes you think some young woman wants to be with an old fart.’”

Ray said he used Craigslist because of its wide-spread use. He admitted that under the “men looking for women” section there were a number of “crazies” posting nude photos. He was not one of those men, he pointed out quickly. He noticed Beverly’s ad, responded and the two began to converse by email. Soon, that progressed to texting and then to phone calls.

“We were on the phone for hours,” Beverly recalled with a smile on her face.

She said it was the no-cost fee that attracted her to the online personal ads, and she had no previous knowledge of nudity on the website before she used it. Then the time came to relocate, and she needed help driving across the country. Ray offered to assist her. So, the two arranged for Beverly’s son-in-law, already in Georgia, to meet Ray before Beverly made up her mind. Her family was leery about Beverly traveling with a stranger. The two men did not hit it off. Instead, Beverly met Ray when she came for a week-long visit prior to moving. The couple visited Helen and toured the sites. Two days later, Ray drove Beverly to an appointment in the Greensboro, N.C., area where she was interviewing to transfer her job. Beverly decided the wages she would make would not afford her the quality of life she was hoping for. Beverly and Ray decided she would stay in an extra room at Ray’s house in exchange for a small portion of the monthly bills.

Ray shared the dwelling with his ex-wife, and in some instances that combination could make for a volatile situation, but that was not the case.

“We are sisters, we get along quite well,” Beverly said and shook her head adamantly. “They get on the phone and I walk out,” Ray added.

While the three roommates lived together, Ray and Beverly began to make plans to buy a house. But, Ray’s ex-wife returned to her home state of Alabama and offered to let Ray and Beverly purchase the Madison home. After Ray proposed several times, Beverly finally agreed to make the relationship official; the two were married in a courthouse ceremony in August 2016.

Anyone who has glanced at the Personal Ads section of Craigslist is sure to understand the risk of criminal and civil liability HR 1865 posed to Craigslist because of users who misused the section. But, for the Henrys, the online, free-of-charge dating service changed their life for the better.

“We get along great,” Ray said. Beverly eagerly agreed.

 

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