Glenwood Springs’ ‘Cutest Couple’ share secrets to love and longevity
The first time Victor Gabossi met the love of his life’s mother, she was anything but convinced that her daughter Lois had found her Superman.
Lois was working at Lyon’s Drug Store in Steamboat Springs, preparing sodas and ice cream sundaes when Victor asked the cheerleader who had previously caught his eye if he could take her out for a hamburger.
Lois reluctantly agreed and, while the hamburgers hit the spot, the ride home took a turn for the worse.
“I’m sitting in the middle — it was when you had three seats — and Victor puts his arm around me,” Lois recounted of their first date.
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One of Victor’s friends was their chauffeur for the evening.
“[Victor’s friend] drives off the road and turns the car over,” Lois explained.
Pitch black, raining, and on a backcountry road, the couple and their third wheel walked for miles until they finally found a farm with lights on.
“It’s now five in the morning and they were milking the cows,” Lois said.
When the two arrived back at Lois’s home, her mother had a few choice words for her daughter’s date.
“She said, ‘You can quit going with that trash from Oak Creek,’” Lois laughed at the reference to Victor’s southern Routt County home town. “And I started dating him.”
In time, the young couple moved to Glenwood Springs. And, luckily for Victor, his free spirit, unconventional ways and love of the jitterbug eventually won over Lois’s mom and dad, too.
“I was not someone they probably would’ve picked for their daughter because of my background. But, life goes on,” Victor, who worked in the old Thompson Creek Coal Mine west of Carbondale, explained.
“I mean, I could drink at a bar when I was 15 or 16 years old,” he reminisced.
“… Belly up and drink at any bar in the county, because I was kind of a big kid and I liked to party,” said the self-described scotch-and-water-turned-wine-lover.
Although Victor’s heart was always set on Lois, it was anything but set on coal mining. He eventually switched careers, big time.
“Twenty-two or 23, whatever I was, I wanted to make money, so I went to beauty school,” Victor said. “I hated it … all these women I had never been around.”
However, with no money and a baby on the way, Victor stuck it out and eventually made a career out of operating Victor’s Beauty Spot and then Clipper Vic’s, cutting predominantly women’s hair.
“I was in the big hair. They all had big hair, tall hair, the beehives,” Victor laughed, recalling the bygone era.
The former music man fell in love with cutting hair, and his wife loved seeing her husband happy and helped run the shop, too.
Voted Glenwood Springs’ “Cutest Couple” in the Post Independent’s recent online photo contest, Victor and Lois have been married 63 years.
“We live a very simple life,” Lois said of the secret to their successful marriage. “I saw a whole lot of winners in [the cutest couple contest] and it shouldn’t have been us.”
As many of those young couples Lois described finalize their Valentine’s Day plans, the couple remembers going to Glenwood’s now “Restaurant Row” when it looked a little different.
“We used to go to the Riviera Supper Club that’s down there now … it was a strip joint in those days, and they had strippers coming in every week,” Victor said. “They had a pole.”
Neither 21 at the time they first arrived in Glenwood, the young couple said they always enjoyed the show, sometimes over Italian food, too.
“The gal, I can still remember … she shimmied around and shimmied around and she had a glass of champagne,” Victor explained, as Lois shook her head and laughed at her husband.
“She did a backbend right on stage in a skimpy outfit and set the champagne on her stomach … well, [the glass of champagne] fell over and then she fell over.”
“I had never had such an exciting life until I met Victor,” Lois added.
“Her mother and dad would’ve really died if they knew where I took her,” Victor said.
Both 83 years old now, the couple still laughs with, and loves one another just like they did when they tied the knot over six decades ago.
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