|Wedding Day 9 April 1950|
Talk of weddings and marrying got me thinking about my parents’ wedding anniversary which was this month. Even though they divorced in the 80’s, throughout the years they continued to be very much connected to and with one another right up until Buzzy’s passing in 2009. Anytime Mom needed help with something around the house, she’d call Buzzy and he would have someone come by and take care of it for her. They also continued to celebrate the big holidays together with dinner at Mom’s house. (Buzzy would buy the turkey and ham, Mom would fix it and we would all sit down and eat once Buzzy would arrive, late of course, from the Store.)
Later on when Buzzy began having medical problems and would be released from the hospital, he would convalesce at Mom’s house for what we all knew would be about a 3 day stay. Not only were my Mom’s nursing skills that strong, but also, she and Buzzy would get to arguing and next thing thing you knew Buzzy was back living at the Store fully recovered.
While divorce in 1985 was not unheard of, several couples in my parents’ circle of friends and many of my peers’s parents were married only once and for a very long time at that. I’ll just name a few, many of whom sat around our card table quite frequently: Grace and Uncle Lester Ridgell, Judy and Bill Raley, Ralph and Evelyn Woodburn, Mark and Olive Bradburn, George and Audrey Norton, Chuck and Flip Titus, Dolly and Dick Carroll, Tom and Betty Ann Clark, Fred and Beth McCoy, Dictator and Millie Cullison, Lucille and Snooty Wright, the Raleys – Ross and Mary Frances, Patsy and Francis, Hank and Temple Madjeski along with many more First District long-time-marrieds that I have not even listed here.
All these couples stayed married for the long haul and that’s pretty remarkable given today’s standards of 50%-plus divorce ratio. Even though Buzzy and Jean were formally divorced in 1985, they were no less a couple. At St. Michael’s Cemetery the other day while I checked on Buzzy and what will also be my Mom’s final resting place, I couldn’t help but think how their headstone says it all about their relationship: both together but both also very much apart.