Eric Avazian was playing basketball and his future wife, Linda, was rooting against him when they met 52 years ago at a competition between their church youth groups at Hollywood High.
But the couple, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends at the Wilshire Country Club, have been on the same side ever since.
“I was wearing shorts,” recalled Eric, who was a 20-year-old UCLA student at the time. “She came straight from church and was all dressed up… she was a very mature, elegant young woman and seemed to be about 10 years ahead of me.”
The pair, who learned they were the same age and had birthdays three weeks apart, began dating. “We went to a lot of frat parties, since I didn’t have any money to take her anyplace else,” said Eric.
They became pinned, then engaged, and were married on Aug. 2, 1964. Linda, a graduate of Occidental College, put her husband through an MBA program while working at Pacific Telephone Co.
Later, he worked in the life insurance business while attending law school at night, and Linda became a stay-at-home mom to their three daughters, Monique, Danielle and Alexis.
The family eventually settled in Hancock Park. Linda volunteered at her daughters’ schools and participated in community service activities while Eric built a law practice with his twin brother, Arthur.
The party, said Linda, “was wonderful, just wonderful. We got to visit with friends we don’t see that often. We sang, we danced, we posed for pictures.” In the Club’s main dining room, the Avazians’ daughters paid tribute, along with their six grandchildren and many friends.
Asked the secret to a long and happy marriage, Linda replied: “Know yourself and what matters to you, then find someone who shares those goals and values.
“Eric and I have been on the same page 99 percent of the time. We’re similar in many ways, we have shared goals, we value family, and our kids have always been a priority.”
Her husband concurs. “We have a lot in common. We enjoy the same friends, and doing the same activities. We’re both very family oriented. And we don’t take things too seriously.”