Sunday, December 3, 2017

35th Wedding Aniversary

2017-1982 = 35 , so this is my 35th I think.  Last year I got it wrong and one of the Ladies pointed it out to me, don't want to make that mistake again.

Usually, I have to choose from just a handful of wedding photos, but as I mentioned some time back, I found a big cache of old prints and I am going through them and digitizing them.



This is the base chapel at Little Creek Amphib base, home of the Gator Navy.  I had a conference there, and rather than get married in Italy, I made arrangements for the base chaplain there to marry us. M was still in the Navy then, so she took leave and I was on TAD orders.

It was supposed to be just a simple wedding.  I didn't invite anybody.


Even so, her whole family came.


My mom and dad came.

Her father wanted to marry us, so I had to get the base chaplain to ok that, which was a hassle, because he wasn't very happy about it.

Also, we had to have a "wedding dinner" which I had never heard of, but the night before the wedding we all went to some hoity toity restaurant in Norfolk for dinner. It wasn't a whole lot of fun and M was stressed out.



She was still in the Navy, at that point, and she brought her blue uniform to wear. But her sister had married Steve (he was an Army officer, then) a month or so before, so M's mom, and sisters, altered Beth's wedding dress to fit M and everybody insisted she wear  that. It looked nice, but it was just one more thing to get everybody all wound up over.





Then when the wedding was over, we had to have a "reception", people came to it that were friends of her mom and dad whom I'd never met, and they gave us presents we had no way on earth of getting back to Italy.

But after that , everybody went back home and we had three more days in Norfolk to get over all the furor.  

Then we went back to Italy.  Because she changed her name, we had to go through the Italian Security Police branch of the Carabinieri to get that done.  You don't know the meaning of the word "bureaucracy" til you try to do something like that in Italy.

 The Navy screwed up her pay because of the name change, and it took months to straighten it out. Then we found out she was getting orders, so she resigned her commission . We could never have gotten orders to the same place at the same time, the Marine Corps and the Navy have a completely different system for cutting PCS (permanent change of station) orders. So one of us had to leave the service. 



And tonight I'm sitting here thinking about all that, such a long time ago. She's over on the other side of the mountains, helping her sister until Beth gets mobile after her heart attack.

And here's what we look like today!




Like everybody else, we've had to get through some tough times , everybody has to deal with health issues, that kind of thing.  But all in all, we've done alright.

33 comments:

  1. Ah, redheads...what can ya do? A knockout redhead in Italy back then must have had all the men whistling and hooting at her.
    Its a feat to make it this long these days. I offer my most sincere congratulations and admiration.

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    1. Weirdly enough, the fellow who I relieved on that staff, said his wife had chosen a wife for me, from among the young unmarried female officers. His name was Chip Lyman,good guy from a very old Marine Corps family. M was the one Chip's wife set me up with. She was a good judge of character, I've always appreciated her matchmaking.

      We have been able to survive the occasional rough patches every marriage has to deal with. It's been a good partnership.

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  2. Congratulations! My lovely wife and I will be celebrating 39 years on the 30th of this month.

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    1. I remember you two have been married longer than we have, there's a few others out there that have us beat but not many.😐

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    2. We had an early start. Just 20 years old. However,I was already a firefighter.

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    3. I think I was 32 when I got married. Most of my twenties I was either in flight school, some other school, or deployed overseas. Didn't have much opportunity to meet nice girls.

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  3. Congratulations! Our 35th will be in February. Some days it seems like a lifetime ago, others, like yesterday. - lol - All "marital bliss," you know!

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    1. It does seem strange, when you think about it, doesn't it?

      Sometimes I look down at my hands and see they are all wrinkled up, or I look in my mirror and see my hair is all gray, and I think how fast life goes by. People tell you that when you are young but you don't understand it til you get old!

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  4. Congrats my friend. That's a long time. You all raised 2 kids who seem pretty decent and built a life for yourselves. When she gets back take her to a fancy restaurant for dinner, she will like that.

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    1. Our two kids are the greatest blessing in our lives. We are so proud of them, and so grateful for them. My wife and I both took a lot of flak from both sides of our family because we didn't use whipping with our children. Both her dad and my dad were old testament Baptists and had no compunction about laying it on a kid. But G and E grew up to be good people. Never any trouble with the police, never any drugs, they work hard, they're smart people and good citizens.

      My wife and I have been content with the way our lives have gone. We had to work mighty hard , especially after I left the Marines. We didn't get to spend as much time together as we would have liked, but I had to choose between a good paying job , or more time at home, and I choose the money. I didn't want, and she didn't want, for our kids to grow up not getting to have those "enriching experiences" that all parents want their children to benefit by. It worked out.

      That's what I plan to do. She is tentatively supposed to be ready to be picked up Wednesday. We'll be tired out from the trip over the mountains and back (it's a tough drive) but Friday we will go out to dinner at the lake up in the next county. There's a nice place right on the lake, and a big theater there too, one of those that shows more than one movie at a time. Should be nice.

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  5. 1982 I graduated from high school. Both of you so young and handsome back then. It is nice to see folks who sick it out though the skinny times. So many today are ready to trade horses when it actually takes some effort to make it all work. We've been married fifteen years and it seems it has all flown by in a blink of an eye.

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    1. It was a different world, back then. Sometimes I feel pretty adrift in this one. Maybe all older people do though.

      The time does go fast. It's hard to believe we've been up in the mountains as long as we have, and even harder to believe we are as old as we are! We don't FEEL different, other than the aches and pains that come with age. But we sure look different!

      Both my brothers got divorced from their first wives at the 20 year mark. Took up with much younger women. I figure after 15 years or so though, most marriages are safe!

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  6. Congrats. It's nice to see people sticking it out for the long haul. Seems like that doesn't happen very often nowadays. May you two have many more to come. The lovely missus and I have 44 coming up in January.......

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    1. Wow. You're up near the top of the list in terms of people who come by here that I know about. My mom and dad made it to 52 years together, I think. I'm trying to reach that too. ;-)

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  7. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I was at Little Creek Anphib back in '88 waiting on the Puget Sound to get back from a North Atlantic cruise. It was a nice quiet base compared to NOB, Norfolk.
    Congradulations on your anniversary by the way.

    I think its better for couples to elope nowadays. Family is too dramatic. Getting married in Vegas by an 'Elvis' impersonator is a lot less stressful:)

    I just remembered something. I was in Washington D.C. back in October'83 as a teenager. I was in Gaita, Italy with the Puget Sound back in '89 overnight for refueling. We hit a few ports in Spain too, so we have been near or at the same spots at different times 'Harry.

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    1. I'm sure we visited some of the same ports of call, just at different times, because as well as being stationed in Italy those years, I also made two deployments on floats. I was on an LST that went into Barcelona, I'm sure you went in there.

      Little Creek was a nice place. I liked the club there. I remember every Wednesday night, they had a big get together, like a happy hour only later. The place would be packed. Then at the end of it, everybody sang a song about the Titanic. On the "chorus" part, the men would sing :

      It was sad, so sad, It was sad, so sad,
      It was sad when the great ship down!

      Then the women would sing:

      Husbands and wives, itty bitty children lost their lives!

      Then everybody sang:

      It was sad when the great ship went down!

      I can't remember all of it now, but it was a hoot.

      Personally, I think having a big wedding and spending a lot of money on it is wasteful. I told my daughter I would give her a check for the amount and she could either use it for practical things or use it for a big wedding. Knowing her, she's as much Scotch Irish as I am, so I think the practical side will win out. I have to watch her mother though, she's a romantic at heart.

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    2. "Getting married in Vegas by an 'Elvis' impersonator is a lot less stressful:)"

      Well, yeah...who can afford a real Elvis?

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  8. I'm two years behind you, We'll have been married 35 in 2020. And we were married in the same chapel at Little Creek. The base in now called Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story (JEB–LC).

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    1. That's a nice base, and I liked the chapel. I'm glad the base is still around, I thought it might have been closed down over the years , like so many others. The NAS Saufley , where I went through basic fixed wing training, I have since heard was turned over to the state and they turned it into low income housing. I hope that isn't true...

      You're another one that's in it for the long haul. I've been kind of surprised how many of the folks who come by here made it past the 7 year "reef."

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  9. What wonderful pictures and memories. Happy Anniversary to you and M. May you have many more years together. Jana

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    1. Hey, Jana. Thanks for the kind thoughts. We are both mid sixties, and both in decent health, so we have our fingers crossed. You never know, when you get up in the morning, if you'll make it til evening but we have high hopes!

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  10. Happy anniversary! Looks like you had a nice wedding, despite some hassles. I refused to send out invitations for mine, do a bridal registry, or a reception. It caused a lot of grief with some of Paul's relatives. My parents eloped when they got married, so they didn't care.

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    1. We had a hard enough time getting from Italy, to Norfolk. Her staff didn't want to let her have two weeks leave, but getting married in Italy was a potential nightmare because we were not Catholic, and we were "foreigners."

      We just wanted to enjoy some quiet time together, in a nice place. The last thing I wanted was what actually happened, but I had to just keep my mouth shut and go alone with the program. It was harder on M than it was on me. It's funny how something so private, between a husband and wife, gets taken over by family.

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  11. Congratulations! These days marriage seems to be disposable. It is nice to see a couple who has endured. May you have many, many more good years ahead.

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    1. Vicki, we hope so. I'd like to get a few more years of easy living in. ;-)

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  12. Happy anniversary to you both! Marriage is not easy these days, especially mine! --Troy

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    1. Troy, don't feel like the Lone Ranger. That's true for everybody.

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  13. I see that you're a good salesman. Seriously, congratulations though. Appreciate the heads up on Paladin press. I got all the books that I wanted and were still available.

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    1. Glad you were able to get a few titles while they are still out there. I agonized about buying a hard copy of Dunnigans Quck and Dirty Guide to War, 4th edition but I already had it in the Kindle digital version so in the end I didn't. Hate to see those guys go.

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  14. Cograts to you and M - you're marital longevity is shining example to your children.

    Don't stress about the change in appearance - life does that to one ;) Anyway, it's not what's on the outside that counts, but rather it is your core.

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    1. Dani, I don't worry about it. I'm pretty sure everybody looks like something the cat dragged in at 65, compared to what they looked like at 30. Besides, I don't have an office, I don't owe anybody money, and I don't have a land lord. So who cares what anybody thinks! ;-)

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  15. Happy Anniversary Harry! I think going down memory lane is great, those are wonderful photos!

    I actually legally changed my first and last names back in 2006 when I disowned the family and started a new life for myself. Two years of red tape and arguing...that's bureaucracy for sure.

    Hope you're not too lonely! :)

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    1. Rain,

      It was a real hassle in Italy. The biggest problem came when my wife left the navy and changed into a dependent wife. "Dependent" is how wives and children are accounted for in the military. It blew the Italians minds, because she stopped being in the country under one set of rules, and suddenly materialized in the country under another set of rules. It was their own fault though, because they made it virtually impossible to get married in Italy unless you were Catholic.

      I know how you feel about the hassle getting the name change. I think ours took almost two years to get it right.

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