She was a teenage girl, living in a beach town in New Jersey. He was a young man from Pennsylvania who often vacationed in that town with his family.
They met, and later that night, she told her mother about him.
"I said 'I met the boy I'm going to marry,' " she said.
They started dating, and five years later they became engaged. "I'll give that six months," her mother said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
Marge and John Schweizer remained married for nearly 60 years.
"Sometimes," she said, "you just know."
Their lives together ended just last week, when John Schweizer died suddenly in his Palmetto home days after his 79th birthday. He was born June 21, 1936.
His career had been in plumbing but his passion had always been music. Throughout their lives, Schweizer, a multi-instrumentalist, played in and led bands. He always kept his day job, though.
"He said if music was his job it wouldn't be fun anymore," Marge Schweizer said.
He had been a member of the Mummers, a legendary Philadelphia string band known for playing in the city's New Year's Day parade. His other bands were all string bands, an unusual type of ensemble that plays all sorts of music. String bands originally consisted of banjos, guitar and violins, but later came to be dominated by saxophones.
Looking for a string band
When the Schweizers started looking to spend the winters in Florida, John Schweizer said he didn't want to move to a city without a string band. Someone told him Bradenton actually had an organization called the Suncoast Mummers. It had no affiliation with Philadelphia's Mummers except it played in the same tradition.
That was enough to persuade the Schweizers to winter in this area.
"That was the reason," Marge Schweizer said. "It was the only reason."
The Suncoast Mummers had been around for a few years, but when John Schweizer joined he soon became the director, a post he held until his death.
"I met him when I came to the first practice," said Joe Quattrone, another former Philadelphia Mummer who became a Suncoast Mummer. "He told me that he had been a Philly Mummer and from then on it was bonding time."
Schweizer and Quattrone were, at that point, the only Philadelphia Mummers who were members of the Suncoast Mummers. One more joined later.
"When John came, it really solidified the group," Quattrone said.
Eventually, Marge gave her husband an ultimatum. She was tired of moving back and forth every six months, and was ready to stay put.
"I told him you can freeze in the winter or burn up in the summer, but this going back-and-forth was killing me," she said. Her husband chose Bradenton and the Suncoast Mummers.
The group now has about 85 members, including the Strutters, costumed nonmusicians who appear with the band. Marge Schweizer is its president. The money they make goes to scholarships for Bradenton-area students to further their music education. So far, Quattrone said, they have raised around $50,000.
On June 25, Marge Schweizer went into their bedroom to wake her husband. He was lying dead on the floor.
He had recently had his six-month medical checkup and everything was fine. He had spoken to Quattrone on the phone the night before. He was on Facebook at 6:30 that morning. But when his wife discovered him at 8:30 a.m., he had been dead for some time.
"We're thinking it was a stroke," she said. "We don't have the death certificate yet."
A few days later she was still reeling, unsure of what she would do next. She said she would continue to work with the Suncoast Mummers. Her husband had always made her promise if anything happened to him, she would keep the music going.
"He was a 79-year-old kid," she said. "He loved people, and he loved music."
Schweizer is survived by his four sons, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. No services are planned.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.