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Dave Gertler ’83 & Sue Kost ’83

Dave and Sue on a trip to Bermuda in 2022 to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

As a freshman, I got to know Roxanne Fisher ’82 through some mutual friends. She invited me to visit her at home during winter break of the following year. In central Pennsylvania, where Roxanne lived, the big winter event is the Pennsylvania Farm Show. So we went to see the tractors and butter sculptures and livestock. (Rox especially loved pigs.)

In one hallway of the massive Farm Show complex, a young woman was staffing a hamburger stand. Seeing her, Rox asked me, “Oh, do you know Sue Kost? She goes to Swarthmore too.” I didn’t, so Rox introduced us.

When the next semester started, there was a familiar-looking student in my German class: Sue from the Farm Show. Professor Faber assigned the students to pair up and write an essay in German. Sue and I decided to co-write a Farm Show essay. Working together, we became friends.

Fast forward six years. Living in West Philly that summer, I decided to drop by Alumni Weekend even though it wasn’t a reunion year for our class. I ran into Sue on Tarble Lawn. It turned out that she was also living in West Philly, where she had just graduated from Penn Medical School and was about to start a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Thanks to our geographic nearness, it was easy to start hanging out together, which turned into dating.

This string of coincidences — meeting each other hours from campus at the Farm Show, being in the same German class right after that, both of us visiting campus in a non-reunion year while living in West Philly — felt like fate. And fate led us to marry in 1992 (in the Amphitheatre, where my parents — another Quaker Matchbox couple — got married in 1958). Our thirty years of marriage, and our three terrific kids, are products of the Matchbox and of Rox’s gift for bringing people together.

(Sadly, Roxanne Fisher passed in 2008, but her legacy endures in many ways, including a tree dedicated to her along Magill Walk near the train station.)

Dave (with Sue's blessing)

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