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Fort Worth senior couple finds love, marriage after playing a game of 'chicken foot'

"That doesn't sound very romantic, does it?" laughed Aileen Brown, who met her husband Robert playing the version of dominoes at their independent living facility.
Credit: Ridgmar Place

FORT WORTH, Texas — If Aileen and Robert Brown seem like they have that newlywed glow, it's because: they do!

The 78-year-old and 83-year-old, respectively, are a few weeks into a marriage, and months into a relationship, that caught them both completely off-guard.  

"We met over a game of chicken foot," laughed Aileen. 

Chicken foot is one way to play dominoes. 

"Yes, I know, that doesn't sound very romantic, does it?" said Aileen. 

They were both new to Ridgmar Place Independent Living in Fort Worth, and had each lost their long-time spouses in recent years. Between the two of them, they'd been married 87 years. Neither of them moved in thinking they were going to find love. 

"Not in the least," said Aileen.

"Oh, no," echoed Robert. 

But there it was, in plain sight at the chicken foot table.

"I thought he was a winker," Aileen said. "You know, there's just some people who wink at people. But after we played for a while, I realized he wasn't winking at the other people!"

"A couple times I might've kissed her on the forehead, and then I kissed her on the cheek," Robert said of the start of their relationship.

Soon, they were an item.

"Well, I asked him one day where he thought this relationship was going. I said, 'Are you thinking about marriage?' And he said 'Yes, I'll marry you,'" recounted Aileen.  

WFAA asked if that was the proposal. 

"I guess it was," Aileen said, laughing.

Last month, in front of family and friends, the two tied the knot.

"One of my sons gave me away. He said here, take her, please," the bride said jokingly.

"There was dancing, there was music, there was cake," said Courtney McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, who's known Aileen his whole life ("She's my other mother, so to speak," he said), runs Ridgmar Place. The couple asked him to officiate their wedding.

"Lots of the world may have been locked down, but Cupid wasn't," he said.

The bride and groom are relishing the life lesson this has taught them.

"There's somebody out there," said Robert. 

You can find love anywhere.


"Right across the chicken foot table," said Aileen.

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