Chronicle Fall Winter 2020 Cover

From the Peddie Chronicle.

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Love Stories

T.J. McCarthy '99 and Ly-Lan McCarthy '99
T.J. McCarthy ’99 and Ly-Lan (Wisler) McCarthy ’99 stand in front of Potter North on the evening of their junior prom.

T.J. McCarthy '99 & Ly-Lan (Wisler) McCarthy '99

T.J.: Ly-Lan transferred to Peddie at the start of our junior year. We briefly met on the first day of school during lunch, but our “romance” began to take shape during Mr. Browne’s Algebra II class. And just like in a John Hughes film, Ly-Lan was the studious one in the front of the class and I was the know-it-all making dumb jokes in the back. I looked forward to the days when math rolled into lunch, so I had an excuse to walk and talk to Ly-Lan on the way to the cafeteria. In the fall, Ly-Lan was on the field hockey team, and while that large, gaggling group of girls ran by me during cross-country warm-ups, we’d each try to steal glances at each other.

In some ways, high school was tough, dealing with all these new and wild emotions. And Peddie had a lot of rules. But we were on the track team and had so much time during the day together. We also had great friends, coaches and teachers. As graduation approached, we planned to go to different colleges and didn’t know where the future would take us. We looked forward to moving on from high school, but we also worried that life wouldn’t be any better or easier than it was right then.

McCarthys voted "cutest couple" in 1999

Both proms were memorable. Junior year, we were so new in our relationship and so nervous, but that event definitely set up our relationship (it finally gave me the courage, on the bleachers during track practice, to ask Ly-Lan out). Our first kiss was behind Swig Arts Center. We were so absorbed in each other when we were together.

Senior year was totally different: We were more relaxed and able to have fun with our friends. The campus and that N.J. weather were also a big part of the story. We went mud-sliding on the baseball field in a downpour. Got caught in a random hailstorm outside of Swig. On beautiful days, we were either hitting field hockey balls back and forth or on a blanket outside of Potter listening to music with Ly-Lan’s roommate (and later, maid of honor) Laura Oberdorf Koenig ’99. We enjoyed going to events together, like a musical or Vespers, but we could also be on campus and be just totally oblivious to anyone and everyone around us.

T.J. McCarthy '99, Ly-Lan McCarthy '99 and family
The McCarthy family vacations at the Jersey Shore this summer (from left): T.J., Ronan, Balen, Ly-Lan and Connor