Harvey was first used as a storm name in 1981, and six other storms have had that name. The gale that followed Harvey every six years used to be called Irene. But in 2011, Hurricane Irene pummeled the Caribbean and many cities on the East Coast, so that name was retired.
Given the ferocity of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017, this will probably be the first and last time the names appear in tandem.
The Schluters, by contrast, have been appearing in tandem since the 1940s, when Harvey was visiting his brother at a duplex in Spokane and ran into Irma, staying with her sister in the apartment below while she attended high school.
Mr. Schluter was smitten. The future Mrs. Schluter, Irma Schumacher, was more hesitant.
“I wasn’t quite through school yet,” she said. “I wanted to wait until I was done. But he talked me into getting married before that.”
The two were wed in 1942 and, after a brief stint living in Fort Meade, Md., while Mr. Schluter was still in the Army, they returned to Washington.
While he went to work as a barber, she found life at home lonely. Both had grown up in big families and it seemed natural to begin to take in groups of foster children, many of them physically or mentally disabled. In a story to mark their anniversary in March, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane reported that they had taken in 120 children over the decades, a number that Mrs. Schluter confirmed.
Mr. Schluter opened his own business in the Hillyard suburb of Spokane, Harvey’s Shop, and worked as a barber for 45 years. But he told The Spokesman-Review in 2013 that his most rewarding life achievement was being a foster parent (along with playing the banjo).
Spokane, in eastern Washington, never sees hurricanes, of course. And in their long lives and travels in a motor home to visit their grown foster children, the Schluters managed to avoid the major hurricanes that struck hard enough to have their names retired over the decades. That list is long but includes Hazel in the 1950s; Carla, Hilda and Inez in the 1960s; Agnes and David in the 1970s; Allen, Gilbert and Hugo in the 1980s; Andrew and Mitch in the 1990s; and Isabel, Ivan, Katrina and Felix in the 2000s.
Mrs. Schluter did not recall ever being seriously affected by other weather events, including snowstorms and earthquakes, which are more common in Washington. She did say that she and Mr. Schluter had stayed inside over the last several days because of the…