July 25, 1942-July 25, 2012
It would be my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary today. How about that! Neither one of them is alive to celebrate, both of them were in their late 20s when they married a long time ago on that hot July day at the chapel in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Here they are. See, my Mom is holding rubecika daisies (or black eyed susans) a very July flower, probably from her mother’s garden. And there is my father in uniform. Just over my father’s shoulder, the white hat with a black band coming out of the chapel is my grandmother (my mother’s mother) and the little girl with blond curls is my cousin Ann, probably the only one in this picture still alive. (Small side note, yes I know the glass is cracked. And I am sure that one or the other of my parents tried to replace that glass but discovered that the picture was stuck to the glass. For me, this is a case of ‘leave well enough ALONE!’)
And here’s the best. The picture is resting on a towel from the Hotel Peabody in Memphis. I am pretty sure that this was one of their stops on their honeymoon. Almost immediately after their wedding they left for Manhattan, Kansas where my father received training before going off to fight in WWII. And strangely enough, the little blonde, curly headed girl now lives there in Manhattan, Kansas after having grown up in Indiana, lived in Colorado and then ended up there.
I think that the posting in Manhattan was the first time that my mother lived a great distance from her Mom and brothers but from the letters that I remember, she loved living there and making a home, however temporary, with my father. After the war they ended up in Kentucky. They hatched my brother and I. After we were grown they moved to Florida when my father retired. Through careful planning they enjoyed many years together in retirement. It was my father’s death first, that separated them.
So thanks to my parents. Each of whom gave me different skills, traits and loves. And if you have a chance today, raise a glass to them.