I first met Dody in about 1957 in Sioux City, Iowa when I was pursuing another girl who lived by me. Dody was always hanging around and I really wasn’t interested in her. However, my best friend wound up with the girl I was pursuing, so eventually, Dody and I became an item also. We got engaged in December 1958 when I was home on leave from the Army, and in 1959, on a Friday, we eloped to Minnesota.
I was 19, and she was 17.
The legal age to marry in Iowa was 21 for the guys and 21 for the girls, but it was only 21 for the guys and 18 for the girls in Minnesota, so we thought we’d give it a try.
I had a job waiting for me in Casper, Wyoming that was to start on Monday, so upon arriving back in Sioux City – after lying about our ages – she went to her house and I went to mine. By Saturday night, I was 600 miles from Sioux City, far enough that her dad couldn’t find me to kill me when he found out we were married. My folks were moving to California two weeks later and dropped her off in Casper.
We were only there about 3 months and she was homesick, so we moved back to Iowa. She was the only girl in her high school who was married, and that was certainly frowned upon in those days. Jobs were hard to come by, so when she graduated, we moved to Southern California and I found a job almost immediately. In 1961, our son was born, and I had to settle down and become a father.
After about 10 years, I came to the Boy Scout Jamboree at Farragut State Park, and after being exposed to the Northwest for a week, I told her we were going to sell the house and move to Spokane. She fought me tooth and nail for about a year and finally decided that the move was the best thing we ever did.
That was 48 years ago, we wouldn’t live anywhere else. Since we never had a honeymoon, we have one every year on our anniversary. We try to go someplace different each time, but it has been so many years, we are running out of places to go.
I call her from work at least three times a day just to tell her I love her, and we have a rule that we can’t get out of bed unless we share a kiss first. Basically we are inseparable and share the same passions, such as classic cars, steam trains and historic hotels.
There’s really not much more to tell except that she is the love of my life and I’m luckier than I deserve to have her in my life. Our 59th anniversary is coming up in July and we’re making plans for this year’s honeymoon.
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