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Opinion >  Column

Paul Turner: I’d say 50-plus years qualifies as a long-term relationship

Peggy and Dick Leupp met in a church choir.

“We were 15 years old,” she wrote.

They started talking about getting their learner’s permits to drive. And in the course of that conversation they realized that, statistically, they were meant to be together.

“We shared the same birthday, born in the same year.”

Peggy was among those who answered the call for prom pictures last week.

She and Dick went to the prom at her California high school in 1964. “The dress I wore was a form-fitting light blue dress with matching shoes. He wore a white dinner jacket. We exchanged flowers. My big hair was professionally done by a hair dresser.”

They turned out to be a long-term couple. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Kevin Martin sent a picture taken at the 1962 Holy Names Academy senior prom.

“I married this beautiful woman (Sara) three years later and we will celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary in September. So, yes, we were/are a long-term couple.”

Yes, I’d say 50-plus years qualifies.

“As to your other questions, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten most of the details except to say we were not royalty and there were definitely no post-prom liberties taken.”

Rats. That might have made good reading.

Dick and Dody Dodd went to her prom in June of 1960 even though they had eloped and gotten married the previous summer.

This was back in Sioux City, Iowa. They weren’t of legal age when they got hitched, so they lied, Dick said.

“There were no computers in those days, so that was easy enough to do. She was the only married girl in her school, which didn’t go over too good with her classmates, but seeing as how we were both at the bottom of the social ladder, it didn’t matter to us.”

The music that night was rock and roll. One song Dick remembers is Johnny and The Hurricanes playing “Red River Rock.”

“Neither of us knew how to dance. Still don’t.”

A few other things have changed though. “Now her hair is snow white, as she is now 76 years old. Mine is gone, as I am 78.”

But not all routes to long-term coupledom follow a straight path.

Janice Potter and Walt Lindgren had dated for a little over a year when they attended his senior prom together.

The event was a joint venture involving Spangle, Fairfield, Rosalia and Oakesdale schools.

“It was held in Oakesdale since they had the largest gym,” wrote Janice. “The date was April 23, 1960.”

The prom’s theme was “Memories are Made of This.”

Janice was 16 and a sophomore at Spangle, Walt was 17 and about to graduate from Spangle.

The era of virtually every small town in the Palouse having its own high school was drawing to a close.

“We drove to the prom in Walt’s family car, a 1959 Rambler station wagon.”

After graduation, Walt joined the Marines. The couple drifted apart.

“It wasn’t until 48 years later when we both found ourselves single that we reunited through the miracle of the internet.”

Their first phone call lasted five hours.

“We soon became a couple once again and after a five-year test drive, decided we should probably get married. We have been married for four years and are enjoying life to the fullest.”

When you don’t want your good neighbors to move

A few years ago I asked readers to weigh in on this topic and one guy cracked me up with his suggestion.

He said he would discourage prospective home buyers from making an offer on the place next-door by flying a large Confederate flag in his front yard.

I’m pretty sure he was kidding. But a cursory survey of troubling national news trends got me thinking.

What if flying the Stars and Bars backfired and actually attracted a certain element to your neighborhood?

Perhaps a different flag would be more to the point.

Back when he had a distinctive, pirate-esque sailboat on Lake Pend Oreille, my friend Lawrence used to have a Jolly Roger he was known to fly on occasion. Maybe he still has it.

I’m sure he’d let me borrow it if any of my good neighbors made noises about moving. Of course, again, that might actually attract home buyers.

After all, who doesn’t like to go around saying “Arrrrrrrrr”?

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