Harvey and Irma Schluter have been married for 75 years, and they’ve only ever seen a hurricane on TV. So imagine their surprise when two major hurricanes in a row were announced, bearing their names.
“I don’t know how they’ve done that, to have a Harvey and Irma,” Irma, 92, said. “I don’t know how that worked out.”
Since 1979, the World Meteorological Organization has switched between men’s and women’s names for tropical storms born over the Atlantic. Six lists of storm names are used in rotation, and the storms that are deadly and/or costly enough to be memorable have their names retired.
So in other words, this will probably the first and last time that Harvey and Irma both appear in a row together for storm names as they do now, considering how much damage and destruction they have each caused.
But the relationship between the charming Harvey and Irma Schluter can only be described as the opposite. They’ve been hooked on each other since the 1940s, when Harvey, now 104 years old, was visiting his brother in Spokane, WA and happened to run into Irma. He was taken with her instantly.
“I wasn’t quite through school yet,” Irma said. “I wanted to wait until I was done. But he talked me into getting married before that.”
The pair got hitched in 1942 and have been inseparable ever since. Devoted to taking in groups of foster children, some with physical and mental disabilities, Harvey and Irma have taken in 120 foster kids over the decades. Both Harvey and Irma clearly clearly have a lot of love to give to anyone who needs it.
And they have a message of support and love for those affected by the storms that share their names.
“Really sad,” Irma said of the storm news report. “I have no idea what I’d do; I’ve never been in that kind of a situation. I’d try and help some people, I don’t know how.”
“You just do whatever you think would be best to do,” she added. “If you can help someone, then help them.”
h/t New York Times