Couple who met in N.C. orphanage to speak at Sunset River Marketplace on April 3

William “Billy” Griffin and Peggy Patton Griffin, authors of “An Exceptional Journey: And the Two Shall Become One,” are set to present a program at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, N.C. as part of the art gallery’s ongoing Coffee With the Authors series. The event will take place on Thursday, April 3 from 10 to 11 a.m. Coffee and breakfast treats will be served.

Billy Griffin and then Peggy Patton met in an orphanage in North Carolina during the late forties. Both had lost their fathers and both had mothers who were incapable of caring for their large families. For Peggy and her six siblings, life during the depression in Franklin County, N.C. was already difficult, lived in extreme poverty. Then one night in 1940, her father suffered a fatal heart attack. Billy, a depression era baby himself, was born in Durham, N.C. a year earlier than Peggy. One of four children, his family struggled to keep food on the table when, in 1945, Billy’s father also suffered a fatal attack.

Their mothers, ill equipped to work their way out of such dire circumstances, felt they had no alternative to placing their children in an orphanage. Fate brought Billy and Peggy together and they became inseparable. After graduating from high school, they married and will celebrate 60 years of marriage in August.

Their book captures the various moments, emotions, obstacles and inspirations of two lives that somehow blossomed under the shadows of heartbreak, poverty and despair.

The event at Sunset River Marketplace is free, but seating is limited so reservations are required. Call 910-575-5999 or send an email to Join the mailing list for notice of future events at the same number and email address.

Sunset River Marketplace showcases work by over 200 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of artwork in virtually every genre. Custom framing, painting and pottery classes and art workshops are also offered through the gallery. Since opening its doors in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has supported not only the visual arts, but literary and performing arts, as well. It has become a popular community center and art hub for both Brunswick County and nearby Horry County, S.C.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW, Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 910-575-5999 or visit the website: www. For daily updates, “like” the gallery’s Facebook page.