Fifty Golden Years

March 21, 1970

March 21, 1970

So here we are, March 21, 1970, getting married. If you look closely at the photo, you will see that Chuck has on one brown shoe and one black one. This snapshot taken by a friend is our only photo because something went wrong with the camera Chuck has in his hand. It looks like we got married in some nice romantic getaway, but the quaint little chapel was on the grounds of the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, and the ceremony and the music were boiler plate. Yes. Las Vegas. Ugh. You see, Chuck’s parents had had a recent divorce and the family was fractured. My mother would not fly. “Do you want a big wedding or the money?” my dad asked. We opted for the money.

We had only known each other since September, when I moved into an apartment two doors down from Chuck. I was about two weeks into my new teaching job in Orange, CA when I came down with mononucleosis. Chuck had actually asked me out, but our first date was cancelled. He brought me a Marie Callendar Sour Cream Cherry pie, though, and I was smitten.

We don’t make a big deal of anniversaries, but we like to do something special every five years. On our fifth anniversary, we toasted. I said, “Here’s to another five years.” Chuck said, “Oh, let’s just take one year at a time.”

On our twenty-fifth anniversary, we decided to have a ceremony of affirmation and re-commitment, with matching shoes and a real wedding and a party at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. Then we went to the island of St. John for our honeymoon. It was all perfect except for when Chuck was sick. For our 45th we rented a condo on the water in Cozumel. There was a strain that dodged the flu vaccine and Chuck was sick before we left home. I came down with it a day or two into the trip. Fortunately, we had a view of the clear turquoise sea from the bedroom.

I suppose I could surmise that the Corona virus came along just in time to botch up our 50th anniversary trip to St. Martin/Ste. Maarten. Of course, I don’t see it that way, but like everyone else, I see an opportunity to reflect on what is constant in this life. This evening, in a quiet dinner hosted by our dear friends Scott and Collins, we will practice social distancing and raise our glasses in a toast. Here’s to one more year. Of course there is no knowing how much time we will have together—we have been aware of that even in normal times—but there is every reason to celebrate the past that enriches the present moment. I love you, Chuck, and I am so grateful to share this journey with my beloved and my best friend.




7 Responses so far.

  1. nancy dillingham says:

    What a cute picture. Handsome bridegroom, brown/black shoe or no. And cute mini-skirted (dressed) bride!

    A beautiful essay–and testimony to love. Made me cry. And Chuck brought you a Marie Callendar Sour Cream Pie!? How very perfect!

    Reads like a movie script, doesn’t it? How about a screwball comedy? :-)

  2. Chuck Campbell says:

    It has been 50 years of being best friends! There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God, or whoever is responsible, for this loving, caring relationship. I know we will not get another 50 years together, but we will get one day at a time or maybe years. Here is to one more year!!

  3. Richard/Rica says:

    Wonderful and touching to us. Thanks for sharing. We two have been blessed. Hugs. Richard/Rica

  4. nancy dillingham says:

    Sarah and Chuck, I’m so impressed with your love story that I’m sending you this tiny poem as a token gift. Yes, people search for love but looks like you found it!

    “People search for love as if it were a city lost . . . ”
    Diane Ackerman

    What is it
    about you
    that haunts me
    so much?

    I want
    to discover
    your heart

    to feel it
    lying there
    bare, apart

    hot to the touch

    Nancy Dillingham

  5. Beth Miller says:

    Happy 50th Anniversary, Sarah and Chuck. I would love to have been with you this evening to celebrate, but couldn’t get away. I so happy that you’re settling in Florida and can’t wait to see your finished new home.

    Here’s to many more years. Much love

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