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Published: April 10th 2016
Fifty-five and still going strong. What a journey we have traveled together! That's the gist of our "blog du jour". Today we celebrate....Cory & me....but please join with us on this special day that has taken us 55 years to reach. It's our 55th anniversary. Wow-whee! Each year, we have the opportunity to take you along on our journey that we took 55 years ago. For many of you, you have already accompanied us on this special odyssey so you may want to fast forward this blog.....BUT, if you want to go on this pilgrimage again, stay onboard and join the rest of the group.
Holy smoke - where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday when Cory tossed his autographed baked roll at me across the college cafeteria. What a cool move. It caught my attention and my chest. I am no baseball catcher, especially when something flies out of the air unexpectedly. Nobody had ever thrown a roll at me before ....especially a signed one. I had to find out who was behind this temptatious toss. Oooooo - I saw him at the other end of the dining room....cute, very cute! No room left to write
back on the battered biscuit so I strolled past this handsome hunk, giving him a wink of my eye and a perky "hello".
That was the beginning. The next encounters are separate blogs unto themselves. More than I can share at this moment. You would be reading blogs as long as War & Peace. Rather, I shall fast forward to April 10, 1964. Our "wedding" day.....55 years ago.
Dear Loyal Followers, you may as well sit back and relax...this will take awhile. Many of you know our story but for those of you that don't, read on. We usually find ourselves reciting this epic saga after a couple "pops" - only because it is worthy of a celebratory drink.
But first, a quick summation: Cory and I met at the University of Buffalo, quickly fell in love and eloped in our sophmore year of college. We were young and in love. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together...."forever and always" we would sign our love letters. Two other college couple friends had recently gotten married. We decided that was our dream, also. It seemed way too complicated to go the traditional way
of a regular wedding so we chose to elope....much more our style and ideal. At the library, I read that North Carolina had a no waiting period. If I had read more closely, I would have noted that Washington, D.C.(closer) had the same. Too late. After packing a lovely, little pink "Jackie Kennedy" sheath dress and pillbox hat that my mother had made for me... for what I had told her was for another wedding (I know: "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we plot to deceive"), Cory arrived to pick me up in all his glory on his white horse: his 1959 white MGA sports car. This was April 9, 1964 in Hornell, NY.
He tossed my little suitcase and my hair roller bag behind the seats. I waved good-bye to my mother who was unaware of the adventure of a lifetime that her only child was about to embrace. It was an unbelievable moment as we sped down the highway with what seemed to be "not a care in the world". We were young and in love, remember.
I quickly noted a couple issues right off, however. The windows had old, smelly blankets
Tossed at me by Bucky
secured over them. Cory said his side curtains had been stolen and this is all he had to use to keep the April frosty air from freezing us to death. They smelled like vomit. Probably used when too much partying. The more distressing situation, however, was with the car. The fuel pump was broken so poor Cory, with an old glove on his hand, PUMPED that broken pump through the space between our seats ALL THE WAY TO NORTH CAROLINA AND BACK!!!! Are we talking about the most wonderful and fantastic man in the world who would give his right hand to me...or what!!!! I love him, dearly...then and now. We traveled like this straight through the night....it was cold, smelly and painful (for Cory) but we didn't mind...love heals all things.
Daylight came as did our next problem: a flat tire. And no spare. Rats. The only thing we could do was hitch hike (yes, both of us hitch hiking...believe me, we didn't have Triple A) to the next town where Cory spent the few dollars we had to buy another tire. Who cares about money when you are living on love??? Once the tire was changed (the
Took,us to N.C. & back
garage man drove us and the tire back to the MGA), we were off again in our Cinderella carriage.
Twelve hours into this quest, we crossed the border into North Carolina. We headed straight to the first little town where we could get a marriage license: Halifax, North Carolina. The town was quaint, to say the least. A very small rural town with a dirt paved Main Street. The men of the town sat along the wooden stoops of the few stores that lined this Main Street, spitting the brown juice of their tobacco plugs onto the dirt pavement. It all blended in nicely.
First surprise: we could not get a marriage license until we had a physical. We had done the required blood work in New York prior to departure to prove that we weren't diseased but now, we needed a physical? Rats. In town, we found a small country Doctor's office and went in. Cory went to the desk and I went and sat in the empty adjoining room. "What do mean the Doctor refuses to see us" is all I heard from Cory. Yep...the doctor wouldn't see us! They said that they did not accept
Courthouse where we got our marriage license
interracial couples getting married!!!! WHAT??? My grandmother always said we had a little native Indian blood in us (my mother disputed that claim) but what did they think I was born from? My mistake....this was 1964 and we were from the North...from an area that did not deal or know that much about race relations and segregation. Without realizing it, I had sat in the waiting room over which hung a sign "Colored". That was enough for this medical staff to determine my race. I didn't even have a tan and at the best of times, any permanent wave that I get is far from being tight curls because my natural hair is so pin straight!!
Out on the curb, we contemplated our next move. We boarded our little chariot and drove to the neighboring town and found another doctor office. This time, we (or rather, me) paid close attention to my seating assignment. Besides the "Whites Only" and "Colored" signs, the appearance of the other patients gave me a good hint to my choice. The physical was nothing except they did wonder about Cory's raw, wounded right hand that had been worn down to a bloody pulp (remember
the fuel pump). They took our temperatures and asked our plans. I think it really was to determine the color of our skin as I look back on it all now.
Now that that was done, we were able to get our license from the Court House back in Halifax. One last thing, though. We had to change our clothes into our wedding garb. We found a near-by gas station with the outside restrooms (Whites and Colored). Given the key to enter the "White" restroom, I quickly changed into my pretty, pink "Jackie Kennedy" sheath with matching pillbox hat. OOOOOooooooo. Cory exited his restroom looking like such a handsome, distinguished man in his little grey suit. OOOOooooooo. My prince in shining armor!!
All aboard our coach to find the Justice of the Peace. Our hearts were thumping with excitement, over flowing with joy. Unfamiliar with this rustic community, Cory stopped our buggy next to the first, helpful soul we spotted standing at the curb. Sure.... he knew where the JP was and better yet, he would take us there plus be Cory's best man. Oh, the stars where in a straight line for us now!! He flung himself
across the back of the sports car and held on to the luggage rack with his ONE ARM! Yep...he had just one arm. It was just like out of the movies or storybook.
Cory followed the directions of one-arm Jake and we arrived at the steps of a lovely, little, vine covered, white cottage with a flowered decorated trellis leading up to the porch. OOOoooooooo. Our dreams are coming true. Once inside the heavily furnished bungalow, the elderly Justice of the Peace greeted us. Calling for "mother" to come from the kitchen, I now had my Matron of Honor, decked out in her finest apron and house dress. She looked like "Aunt Bea" as I recall. I held the little white Bible that my grandmother had given to me years ago as we began to recite the vows prompted by the JP. Call it nerves, exhaustion, anxiety or overwhelming happiness; when my turn came to speak - I was mute. My lips wouldn't function...my voice was numb. With a little nudge from Cory, I promptly and strongly blurted out: "I Do" and it was done! We were now: Mr. & Mrs. Cory Guenter. Oh, Happy Day! This was 55
One arm man - our Best Man
"Aunt Bea" Matron of Honor
years ago, today!!
With love in our hearts and glee in our souls, we were ready to hit the road as a newly wed couple. First though, we needed to take care of the services rendered by the JP. He prepared a certificate documenting this glorious day and said we could give him whatever we wanted. Since our money had been spent on a new car tire, Cory, as the gentleman he was, extended his wounded hand and said we wanted to give him our "thanks"! .....And we were out of there....just like Thelma and Louise or I guess you would say, Thelma and Louis!!
Off we flew into this new wonderful world together, forever. The sun was shining, the warm air was blowing around us as the convertible top had been put down and we were the two happiest people on earth. Love is Grand!
Whoa...not so fast. There is a problem, Houston. We can't go any further. I was looking at the certificate given to us by the JP. He had spelled my maiden name wrong!! What does this mean...aren't we really married?? Not taking any chances, I insisted we had to return to this
fine man to whom we had given our thanks. Cory wasn't exactly thrilled with this request but so willing to make me happy, he would have done anything (remember his throbbing, bleeding hand). Once back at the pretty, little white cottage, Cory took our certificate to the JP with our dilemma. He was even less thrilled about it than Cory. He said it was only a souvenir certificate and that the legal one would be sent from the courthouse in the mail. He ripped it from Cory's sore and bleeding hand, scratched off my maiden name and told Cory to write it in correctly. It is not neat and pretty but it is correct. It still even has a few drops of blood on it (the injured hand) ....words can not describe Cory's love and sacrifice he has shown to me. Again, being the gentleman he is, Cory gave him more "thanks".
NOW....we were on our way: going home but not too sure where that would be. We had no money so we had to go to Plan B. On a prior occasion, Cory and a buddy needed some money so they wired a relative via Western Union. We
traveled into Richmond, Virginia (Made for Lovers) where Cory found a Western Union. He wired his good buddy, Del, for $100. Soon after, we received it...you would have thought we had won the mega lottery!!
We sped to the closest, inexpensive but sanitary motel. The room was still being cleaned. There was a greasy spoon next door so we had our wedding meal consisting of a tasty, oozy hamburger and a shared root beer. Once in the room, we flopped on the bed and that was it!! It was over....We both fell immediately into unconsciousness and never woke until the next day...we were exhausted beyond exhaustion!! Happy Honeymoon!!
That was OUR day and the beginning of our wonderful life together: 55 years ago....Happy Anniversary! I love you, Cory! It's been terrific growing old together. What a fabulous ride we've had and are still on board for more.
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