How They Met…
It may lack the romance of the Orient Express or the Southern Crescent, but SEPTA’s Media-Elwyn rail line is responsible for at least one love connection.
More than 20 years ago, Jeffrey Draine and Debora Dunbar first met at the Wallingford train station as they waited for the commuter trains that carried them to their workplaces in Philadelphia. “We found each other to be enjoyable conversation partners,” Jeff said. “I felt a bit of a spark, but as we were both married at that time, I interpreted it as a welcome spark of friendship.”
The conversations were interrupted as their jobs and hometowns changed and they lost touch. Jeff’s family grew to include two daughters, and Deb’s, two sons and a daughter. But on September 23, 2005, Jeff recounted with precision, he ran into Deb on Walnut Street close to where both worked in Philadelphia. “Neither of us knew the other was back in town. We caught up, and arranged dinner together, where we each informed the other that we were then ‘available.’”
Deb lived in Wallingford and Jeff in Media, so it was easy to get together and make up for lost time. Things stayed on track, and the couple tied the knot on New Year’s Day, 2008. “We married in a circle at our church that included Deb and me and all five kids.” The kids in this blended family have always meshed well, Jeff said, though now less often able to assemble all together.
Two of the five children are at home at the moment: Isaac Dunbar, who spends most of his year at University of Maryland as an engineering student, and Leah Dunbar, a junior at Strath Haven High School. Ben Dunbar is completing college at Temple in Russian and politics, living in Philadelphia. Maddy Draine lives in Glenside, and is completing college at Arcadia in sociology and gender studies, and Holly Draine lives in Germantown, works in therapeutic support for Foundations Behavioral Health, and is a student at Temple.
Their Wallingford home near the railroad tracks remain the launch site for the morning commute to Philadelphia, where Debora is clinical director of Penn Medical School’s HIV Prevention Research Division and Jeff is a professor at Temple University in social work. Many aspects of their lives have changed since 1996, but at least one is the same: “We still ride together from the Wallingford station nearly every day,” Deb said.