Friday, August 25, 2023

50 Years of Love

Who gets married in August? A state like Louisiana has three seasons – Summer, July, and August. Who would seriously consider getting married in August, the hottest month of the year? 

We did. And we did more than consider it. We actually were married in August.


August, 1973. The Vietnam War was ongoing. Vice President Spiro Agnew had been notified about an investigation involving bribery and kickbacks. The price freeze that had been in effect (trying to stop inflation in 1970 when it was approaching three percent) was ended by President Nixon; the prime lending rate had reached 9.5 percent (and it would go a lot higher). On the 15th, Nixon gave a nationally televised address on Watergate, addressing the growing scandal for the first time. Willy Mays hit the final home run of his career. William Rogers resigned as Secretary of State, succeeded by Henry Kissinger. Letter bombs were going off at department stores in London and the British embassy in Washington, D.C. Members of the Union of Soviet Writers published a letter in Pravda condemning writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and physicist Andrei Sakharov.


Top songs of that Summer of 1973: My Love by Paul McCartney and Wings; Yesterday Once More by The Carpenters; Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown by Jim Croce; Touch Me in the Morning by Diana Ross; Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings; Delta Dawn by Helen Reddy; Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree by Tony Orlando and Dawn; and You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder. 


Two young adults – very young adults – were married on the 25th. The setting was Mildred Crowe Baptist Church, a red brick building on North Market Street in Shreveport. The church has gone through a few permutations since then, but it’s still there, and while it’s no longer Baptist, it’s still a church.


The wedding was at 6 p.m. The service and the reception in the church hall had to be done by 7, because a revival service was starting at 7:30. Two fraternity brothers served as my best man and groomsman; my soon-to-be-wife Janet had a cousin for matron of honor and a close friend from college as a bridesmaid. Janet would, in turn, be a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding a few years later, and they have remained good friends for more than half a century now.


We were too broke to afford a honeymoon. We had a few days off, and then both of us went to work at the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise. I had been there since graduation in May; Janet joined after we were married. 


Less than two months later, the Yom Kippur War erupted in the Mideast, introducing Americans (including us) to gasoline shortages. Inflation took off in the 1970s, reaching 11 and 12 percent and higher for some things. Another embargo happened in 1979, with the Iranian Revolution and the storming of the U.S. embassy.


In the intervening years, we’ve experienced economic downturns, recessions, stock market crashes, crazy places to work, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cultural and social upheaval. We had two sons, and we have the blessing of both living close by. We have three grandsons and a daughter-in-law we adore, and a girlfriend we thrilled about. We have a good place we are thankful to call our church home.


We have been blessed these 50 years together. I wouldn’t change a thing, even if I had to power to do it, and I would do it all over again. 




I Have Loved You All Along – poem by James Sale at Society of Classical Poets.


Martha Jane Orlando said...

Wishing you both a wonderful and joyful 50th anniversary, Glynn! That's quite to milestone, so say the least. Tomorrow, we're attending my 50th high school reunion; feeling old!:)

Glynn said...

Martha, thank you!

Bill (cycleguy) said...

Congrats Glynn! You have now officially joined the "oldsters" club. I'm so happy for you both. You have proven that love stands the test of time. Even John Denver's song (Annie's Song) is a great tribute. May God grant you many more.

Glynn said...

Bill, thank you so much!