I was a senior in high school & Bob was a freshman in college, both of us attending KCCBS in Overland Park. I was working for J.C. Penney's in their Regional Credit Office & Bob was working for Rock Island Railroad.
I guess it was love at first date as from that point on we were a steady couple. That summer found us together about every afternoon before either of us went to work. Saturday nights were ours to "cruise" the Plaza & we usually worked it out to be together on Sundays also.
School would be starting up in late August. A new rule had been made for our school that no marriages were allowed during the school year. It was during the Viet Nam War time. Some of the guys were getting their draft notices, & to avoid going to Viet Nam, several couples eloped. So, we...mostly me...decided we didn't want to take the chance of Uncle Sam sending for Bob, and we got married in August, a couple of weeks before he returned to college, instead of waiting until the next Spring. He went on to gradutate from KCCBS college in 1970 & my plans to go to nurses training never materialized.
My family had moved to Kansas from Central Missouri the previous summer. Mom & Dad never had a mortgage on any of their houses that I know of. A family friend always loaned the money to Dad & he would pay it back as quickly as he could in large lump sums. Much to my dismay, they had just paid off their loan & were pretty well broke! I couldn't have picked a worse time for them to plan a wedding.
But plans were made. My dress was borrowed, my veil was bought out of "The Shopper", Mom & Aunt Paulene made the bridesmaids dresses, along with their hats, candelabras were rented, & I made arrangements to pay for the flowers. When looking back at how we put it all together, Mom would remind me that she didn't even have money to buy herself a new girdle!
The guys wore dark suits...back in the days when tuxedos weren't necessary. The reception was held in the dining hall at the college, with the basic cake & punch. And one of Mom's rose bushes had a perfect bloom, just right for the cake table.
I didn't care that it wasn't elaborate. I thought it was beautiful. And it was the happiest day of my life. I married the guy that I had learned to love in 7 short months, the guy that I knew I couldn't live without.
We honeymooned in Branson, long before it was the vacation spot that it is today. I had been there just a few months earlier on my Senior trip, so thought I was quite the tour guide! We went to Rock Away Beach & rode across the lake in a paddle boat. We went to Silver Dollar City & toured Marvel Cave. We went to one of the country music shows that I had seen on my previous trip...maybe The Baldknobbers.
As a wedding gift to us, Bob's dad had told him that he would pay for our honeymoon. We stayed in a Best Western Motel, & ate out every meal. We were only gone for two nights, & our total expenses for food, motel & entertainment was $50.00!
And it has been 43 years. In my mind, sometimes we are still that young couple that only had eyes for each other. Then I look in the mirror & know that time is swiftly passing by. We have had wonderful times together. Like any other couple, we have had some very rough times together. We have had a family together, raised a daughter & son, & been blessed with six grandchildren. We have laughed. We have cried. We have lost my parents, Bob's mom & his oldest sister. We have gained material blessings. And we have learned that through the sickness that our parents went through, those material things really aren't very important anymore. We rebelled at how we were brought up. But by God's Grace, we returned to our Heritage & were saved in our twenties. We have served God for quite a few years now.