It started, as love stories so often do, over an argument. The pair ambled out of Macon, Ga.’s Douglass Theatre on an early Saturday afternoon; her, Zelma Atwood, 16 years old, pretty yet fiery; him, Otis Redding, 19, dashing, charming, a lover with an ambitious streak. He’d just been performing with local star Johnny Jenkins at the town’s hip teenage hangout, the Douglass’ Saturday matinee – he wasn’t the star of the show just yet, although that wouldn’t be too far away – and, at some point during the performance, he caught Zelma’s eye. Zelma doesn’t remember – or won’t say – what the argument was about, but it doesn’t matter. “We met, we fell in love and then we married,” Zelma recalls over 50 years later. “It’s as simple as that.”
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