Why would a couple choose to be married the day after Christmas?
It’s a day somewhat lost in the backwash of the Christmas season.
Maybe two young people selected that date because they only had a few days before they had to be somewhere else.
You see, there was this young man who had been home about 2 and 1/2 months earlier for his Father’s funeral.
He and this young gal were already engaged to be married but the death of his Dad made this young man realize that he really needed this gal to be there with him.
He asked her if she could plan a wedding ASAP.
He didn’t want to be away from her any more than he had to.
He knew this young lady would fill that void he felt in his very being when his Father passed away.
Now she always fancied a nice church wedding and the bridal dress and bridal party so this would be a challenge.
So, while he was completing U.S. Air Force basic training in Texas, she was scurrying about about, organizing the wedding she always dreamed of.
There were all the wedding announcements to be handled and a church had to be secured and someone to perform the ceremony.
A wedding cake, too.
Don’t forget the photographer!
She pulled it off in a matter of weeks.
A beautiful church wedding with her sister, her cousin and her future sister-in-law as brides maids.
The groom got his roommate from tech school to be his best man, along with 2 high school band buddies.
Everyone was dressed to the nines.
It was a candlelight service with the church still bedecked in Christmas finery.
And so it happened.
The evening of December 26th, 1969, this young couple was married.
They had to drive to Texas because he was attending tech school to become an aircraft maintenance specialist in the USAF.
After all, he only had a 4 day pass.
They arrived at their new home, in an apartment above the 8th Street Pharmacy in downtown Wichita Falls.
When they arrived, the city was experiencing one of the worst ice storms that area had ever seen.
Being from Ohio, this young couple had experienced “winter weather” but this was pretty extreme, even for young Northerners.
The young groom was charged with securing the place where this couple would set up housekeeping.
It was also the last time his bride ever allowed him to make that choice alone.
This apartment had a certain “charm” to it.
Ratty furniture, questionable appliances but it did have a neat claw foot bath tub that today’s home renovators would drool over.
You accessed this abode by way of a wooden staircase that was quite “interesting” after the aforementioned ice storm.
The young bride’s backside left a slight depression in the frozen precipitation as she chose the seated method for going down the steps.
Now, this young couple’s landlord was Homer Adams and his wife was…
Well, other than Mrs, Adams, this couple referred to her as “Snaggle Tooth”.
No disrespect meant but when she grinned, there was just a lone incisor visible.
The Adams were nice people.
The kind of landlords a young married couple needed while far away from family and friends.
The Adams ran a drug store that had a storage area that would be best-described as a fire trap.
This is what the young couple lived above.
Fortunately, the Adams didn’t smoke and the wiring in the building was just good enough that the young newlyweds on the 2nd floor weren’t burned to a crisp.
One day, these newlyweds went “looking” because they had very little money to “shop” with.
Well, they found a pet store and wouldn’t you know it.
There was a little white ball of fluff that yipped and yapped and really wanted that young couple to take it home.
The dog really tugged at the young couple’s heartstrings.
But, their purse strings were even tighter.
So, they did the next best thing.
They bought a hamster.
And a cage with a wheel.
And one of those water bottles you hang with the nozzle at the bottom.
And hamster food.
And a bag of cedar shavings.
Not quite the charm of a fluffy white puppy.
But the hamster was theirs.
But little did they know that their hamster, named “Moochie” after the young bride’s childhood pet, had been “free” with her affections.
One day, the young bride noted little pink things wriggling between the cage bars.
Tiny little baby hamsters.
Eight of them.
“Mamma Moochie” would get in the wheel and run as though she was trying to escape the mob and these little creatures would be spinning round and round and flying in all directions.
But they all survived and eventually found new homes.
The young couple also survived.
And found new homes, too.
They lived in Alabama for almost 2 years before the groom went to Greenland with the Air Force.
The bride stayed with her parents in Ohio and gave birth to their older daughter.
That was a major accomplishment after some initial difficulties starting a family.
They lived in Ohio after the Air Force and eventually wound up in southern Indiana where they now reside.
Both are now retired and often wonder how they managed to get to this point 50 years later.
Wedding traditionalists say the 50th anniversary is the “golden” one.
Truth be known, the “Purple Heart” might be more appropriate for this couple.
He might call it a real “character-builder”.
18,250 days (Give or take a few more thanks to “Leap Years”.)
That’s a lot of time.
So, this article is titled, “What the ‘L’ is Going On?”
How about the Roman numeral for 50…
That bride and groom have made it this far.
How about another 50?
Odds are that won’t happen.
But Neav, there’s no one else I’d want to attempt it with than you.
Happy 50th Babes!