Their mothers knew best


Julie Baummer And Greg Maragos

August 22, 1999|By Joanne E. Morvay | Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

Nearly everyone has been set up on at least one date by his or her mother -- and can tell a horror story to prove it. But for Julie Baummer and Gregory Maragos, trusting their mothers' intuition has proved to be the best decision they ever made.

Julie and Gregory's story begins in 1985 when Julie was in the fourth grade at St. Joseph's School in Fullerton. Her teacher was "Mrs. Maragos," Gregory's mother.

Gregory was one grade ahead of Julie in school. Julie's mother was the volunteer room mother in Mrs. Maragos' class. The two women struck up a friendly relationship, taking time to chat if they ran into each other at church or in the grocery store.

Julie and Gregory endured these sometimes long conversations with the patience of typical elementary-schoolers: Too shy to talk to each other, they exchanged glances and then waited for their mothers to move on.

Gregory left St. Joseph's in the sixth grade to attend another school. In 1989, his family moved from Harford County to Salisbury. Mary Maragos and Pat Baummer kept in touch through Christmas cards. When the Maragos family moved back to Harford County four years later, Mary and Pat ran into one another at church once more.

In conversation, it came out that Gregory and Julie were both majoring in music in college. (Julie was pursuing a degree in music education at the College of Notre Dame and Gregory was studying jazz composition at Towson University.)

The mothers thought it might be nice for their children to get together. Whatever leeriness Gregory had about the "set-up" was erased when he saw a fashion spread that Julie -- a part-time model -- had done in a local magazine.

Though Julie's only memory of Gregory was of how he looked at 13 ("But my mom says I did think he was cute then," she confides), she agreed to go.

Their first date was in November 1995.

Mary Maragos says she knew when Gregory came home that night that her son and Julie would eventually marry. "I just knew if they got together, that would be it," she says.

Pat Baummer wondered if Gregory was the answer to her prayers. She and her husband "would always tease Julie that we prayed she would find a cute boy that lived in the neighborhood, went to church on Sunday and took good care of his mother. When they went out on that date, I thought, 'Well, this might be it,' " she recalls with a chuckle.

Gregory felt so confident that he asked Julie for a second date before the first had barely begun. "I had a good feeling," he says.

"Our parents knew us so well," Julie adds.

Gregory proposed in March 1998, presenting Julie with the ring they had chosen together. Julie graduated from Notre Dame that May and Gregory graduated from Towson in May of this year.

Julie is a vocal music teacher at an elementary school in Baltimore County. Gregory is a musician with his own band, Rocket Transfer Warehouse. Known for its original style of "power pop," the band has played at clubs in Fells Point. Julie and Gregory also teach private lessons at the Perry Hall Music Center.

Julie, 23, and Gregory, 24, were married July 24 in a Catholic mass at St. Joseph's Church in Fullerton. Gregory composed and arranged the music that accompanied Julie's walk down the aisle.

In addition to the couple's mothers, the 150 guests included Julie's father, Bill, and Gregory's father, Jerry. The Baummers live in Bel Air and the Maragoses in Towson.

Gregory's brother Gary was the best man. His bandmates were his groomsmen. The gifts for communion were presented by Gregory's grandmother, Helen Downs, and Julie's grandfather, J. Charles Baummer Sr.

After a reception at the Gramercy Mansion in Stevenson, the couple left on a two-week honeymoon: First to Jamaica and then to Los Angeles, where Gregory's band was one of the featured acts in the International Pop Overthrow Festival.

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