"" Writer's Wanderings

Friday, September 21, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years - On This Day

US President was Lyndon B Johnson

Harper Valley PTA was a popular song

Oliver! was most viewed movie

The Case Against Congress by Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson was a bestselling book

Fantastic Voyage was a popular TV program and the police drama Adam 12 debuted

The Cleveland Indians beat the California Angels 2-3 at the Cleveland Stadium with 3,945 in attendance

Woody Hayes would coach a championship OSU football team but the first game wouldn't be until 9/28 (Bob didn't miss a game.)

The Big Mac was on the menu - two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed
bun.Only 49 cents!

And there was a war in Viet Nam

While all of the above may have been important, our life changing event was becoming Mr. and Mrs. Robert Robbins.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years - Precious Memories

There are just a few more pictures from our wedding album from September 21, 1968, that are great captures of family and friends that I love. The first is from just after the ceremony as our parents came out and we began to form our reception line in the church hallway. That's Mom in the blue dress kissing me and Bob is extending his hand to my father who looks like he's about to grab him with both hands.

The one that stands out there though is my brother. He was sixteen at the time and I can't explain the look that he seems to be giving Bob. Is it You'd-Better-Take-Care-Of-My-Sister? Or Am-I-Really-Gaining-A-Brother? Strange as it may seem I think I've seen that look more than once through the years but now it's more a Is-He-Kidding? look. After all to know Bob is to know there's a strange sense of humor sometimes.

Reception line all set up, the photographer caught another great picture. On one end of the line my new father-in-law is wiping his eyes and blowing his nose. On the other end is my maid of honor wiping tears. And there in the middle is that famous Bob grin. White hair (and a little less) today but that grin still holds true.

And I end The wedding pictures with the one of the bridal party dancing. There in the background is Bob's twin dancing with my maid of honor. I have no idea what prompted that expression on his face. I've seen that expression a few times over the years. I still can't explain it.

We had only three days for a honeymoon and had chosen Lake Hope in the Hocking Hills in southern Ohio as our destination. Close enough to get home quickly and cheap enough to fit into our budget. We had a little cabin on the park grounds near the lodge. What we didn't count on was that there would be a convention of park rangers there as well. We stood out and learned we were dubbed the honeymooners.

It was a lovely three days in the fall. I mention fall because that's what the acorns were doing--falling. Behind our cabin was a propane tank that was used to heat the cabin in winter. With the window open we could hear an acorn smack against each leaf as it fell and then ping as it hit the propane tank. It was almost rhythmic. We'd hear the sound of the leaves and wait for the ping. I collected one of the acorns and later preserved it in plastic. It's the only souvenir we have.

This acorn is 50 years old and while it never grew into a mighty oak tree, you might say it was the beginning of a strong and sturdy marriage.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years - Fun Wedding Memories

There are a few memories from our wedding day that stand out. One is forgetting the cake knife at home. Now my memory is that my brother who had just gotten his driver's license went home to get it but Bob seems to think he drove back home to get it. Maybe they went together.

In addition to making the wedding dress and a brides maid dress and veils and, oh yes, the garter, there were also car decorations to make. Mom had seen or heard about decorating the wedding car with pom poms made of nylon netting. I'm not sure who all was involved in the making of them. I don't recall making a lot so Mom must have done most of them. Maybe she had a friend help out too. I do know that all of those nylon pom poms were saved and used for years as scrubbers for washing dishes.

For some reason the photographer had not gotten a picture of us with Pastor Fish at the church so we arranged to have one taken at the reception. The photographer, as my mother says, had already made several trips to the bar so he might not have been thinking straight by that time. He took us back to the bar area and posed us there against a wall. It wasn't until we looked at the proofs that we realized there was a picture of a bawdy bar maid right behind the Bob's head. I wanted to have it erased from the picture. (Today we would photo shop it.) Bob held his ground. He thought it was funny and insisted it be kept in. My mother would do anything for him. I lost the battle.

While not so funny at the time, the best memory that night came after we left the reception. Here we were escaping from my cousin (or so we thought) and we rushed home so that we could change clothes and make our final getaway. The problem was that the house was locked up tighter than a drum and my parents were not in the habit of leaving a hidden key.

My parents had a small poodle and she was barking her fool head off as Bob ran around the house trying to figure out how we could get in. We knew if we went back to the reception, my cousin would catch on to our leaving. He found my bedroom window was open. The problem was that it was about six or seven feet above the ground.

Somehow Bob managed to hoist himself up, tuxedo and all, into and over the window sill and fight off a poodle who was barking at the intruder until she recognized him and then kept getting in the way as she was so excited to see someone she recognized. Eventually he made it in and went around to open the door for me.

We changed quickly and left leaving Suzy, the poodle, wondering what was going on.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years - Dancing With Dad

When my mother hired the DJ for our reception I'm not sure she knew exactly what he was going to do. Thankfully he didn't try anything way out of order and he stuck pretty much to a traditional kind of agenda. When he called for the bridal party to gather on the dance floor, I don't think any of us knew exactly what he was going to do--least of all my father.

My dad was a great outdoors man. He loved to fish and hunt. Some of the favorite stories my mother told about their dating days were about her having to learn how to bait a hook with a worm as my dad threatened to put it down her back if she didn't put it on the hook. She learned to bait a hook and catch a fish but it took her seven years to finally catch my dad. When she did, the story goes that he used her wedding veil to make a minnow net to catch minnows for bait. Now, never once in all that dating time did Mom ever mention his taking her dancing. And in all the time that I lived at home, there was never any dancing that I saw.

All of that leads to one of my favorite memories of our reception. Bob and I did our bridal couple dance and then the DJ told my mom and dad that they needed to break into the dance and partner with us. My dad walked up to me and I put my hands on him in dance position. He looked at me with a crooked smile and said, "What do I do?"

"Just move your feet," I said and he did. It was a special moment. I'd grown up learning to fish and had special memories of ice fishing with him as well as fishing from his boat and the shore. But this was different. He did something for me that was way out of his comfort zone. I look at the picture and  his smile and I can't help but think he had fun doing it for me.

Truly it was a special moment.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years - The Reception

September 21, 1968, was a hot day. At least we remember it being hot. Apparently the temperature was only 81 but maybe it was humid as well. All I know is our house didn't have A/C yet and we spent the afternoon there, mostly with out-of-town guests in the backyard. The reception was not to start until around 6 I believe. With all my layers of lace and long sleeves, I was melting. I ended up taking a shower before it was time to leave for the reception.

Our reception was held at a place called Rockside Gardens which was right next to the VFW hall in Independence. Rockside Gardens is no longer there but I think the VFW hall still stands. The caterer had managed to double book. By that I mean they were not only doing our buffet but they were providing a BBQ event for the VFW as well. My mother was fuming when our dinner was delayed.

Again, I cannot remember what we had for dinner. I'm sure I was nervous enough not to eat very much anyway. I was never a very good scrapbook keeper so much of what I should have recorded I didn't.

Once dinner was done, the reception went into full swing. We opened gifts at my insistence. I figured if people took the time to pick them out and bring them they should see us open them. The DJ pretty much led us through all the formalities like the cake cutting (neither of us were cake smashers when we fed each other), the first dance, the bridal party dance, and a toast that we did do with glasses that amazingly enough have survived the 50 years.

Of course there was the tossing of the bouquet and the ever popular search for the garter as well as tossing it to the single guys. Yes, I made the garter as well.

We did not stay to the end of the reception. I look back now and think it was kind of rude but there were two things that made us leave early. The first was that we only had three days to honeymoon before we had to start classes again at OSU. The second and more important at the time was that my cousin who was a great prankster had vowed that she would find out where we were spending the night and make a visit. At the time I had no doubt that she would do it although now I think it was all bluster and talk.

We quietly said goodbye to our parents who knew we would leave early and were sworn to secrecy about it as well as our destination. The photographer almost missed the opportunity to get a picture as we left. He wasn't prepared for the quick departure. It all ended well. No one tailed us from the reception.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Celebrating 50 Years -- I Do, I Do

There are wedding vows and then there are wedding vows. We had no desire to be original or creative. I guess you might say we were traditionalists then and probably still are. Love, honor and obey works for both of us and we are in it for a lifetime.

Dad walked me down the aisle although I don't remember much about the walk. I don't recall being nervous but I do remember keeping my eyes on Bob and his grin. My dad said his line when asked and carefully stepped back to sit with my mother.

Our ceremony was officiated by two pastors, the pastor of the church who had allowed us to hold the ceremony in their sanctuary and the pastor of Bob's church where we were attending while going to school. Pastor Fish had done our premarital counseling and I do remember that. His talk about the love triangle sticks with me to this day. Think of an isosceles triangle with God at the top and each of us at the bottom angles. As long as we were both striving to get closer to God, we would move up the triangle and get closer to each other as well. Good lesson.

We began our vows. The "I dos" were easy. Just answer the question but the repeat-after-me part gave Bob a little scare. I spaced out for a moment. Somewhere in the middle of the promising, I suddenly realized that this was it. I was getting married. I wasn't frightened. I just paused to relish the moment. When I repeated the words that I needed to, there was a collective sigh of relief I'm sure but I didn't notice. I was just happy. I was marrying the man I loved.

On our silver anniversary we repeated our vows but we decided that if they've held up for fifty years, we're still good to go. No need to repeat them. We've got them down.

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