Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Anniversary

On June 9, 1952, my mother and father were married in Woodville, Mississippi. Neither family nor friends were present for the ceremony. Sadly, there were also no pictures to document this important event.

My father, whose unit had been activated in August 1951, was stationed at a nearby army base in Louisiana. Because they didn’t know when or if Dad’s unit would ship out for Korea, the young couple decided it was a good time to marry. So my mother, with the knowledge and approval of both of their families, traveled to Louisiana to meet my father. The two slipped over into Mississippi, a state with friendlier age of consent laws, and eloped.

The picture below was taken a month later when they were part of another couple’s wedding. It is the closest thing we have to a wedding picture.

There is my mother with that winning smile and my father handsome in his army uniform. Both so very young and so unaware how soon they would be parted.

Two months later my dad was aboard a ship leaving for Korea, and my mother was on her way back to Fremont to live with her sister. A lucky break for dad occurred when he was one of three men aboard the ship chosen for reassignment to a base in Japan. He remained stationed there as a supply sergeant until the end of the war.

In August 1953, Dad came home. His ship, which docked in San Francisco, was the first ship to arrive in the United States at the close of the war. He flew back to Ohio where his wife and four-month-old daughter (me) eagerly awaited his return.

Four children, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren later, they celebrate their fifty-sixth anniversary. Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

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