This picture of my parents’ wedding on June 19, 1959, captures the enthusiasm and confidence of two young people…full of hope, adventure, and aspirations…ready to take on the world. From their vantage point, the future looks bright. Mom walks with grace and dad with swagger as they stroll down the aisle at Brooklyn Heights Methodist Church on 105 Doris Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland.
Funds were limited, so there were few guests attending. My Grandma and Pop Pop were there with “the girls”–all four of dad’s sisters. Grandma was 7 months pregnant with my Uncle Jimmy. Mom’s mother was there, along with sister Wanda and her husband Pat. Mom wore a pearl necklace she borrowed from her eldest sister Margaret (“something borrowed”) who was there with her husband Larry. Harry Hunter, a friend of dad’s from Glen Burnie Methodist Church, sat in the back. The minister was Rev. C. Roger Elgert.
They were married on a Friday night. For a honeymoon, they took a quick trip through the Blue Ridge mountains and visited Monticello. By Sunday night, they were back in Maryland. They returned to work on Monday morning.
In the ensuring years of their marriage, they would raise two awesome children, develop rich relationships, share the good news of new life in Jesus Christ, and travel around the world. They would successfully migrate to a strange new land (Iowa). There, they survived freezing blizzards and humid summers. They suffered near-total loss when an F5 tornado destroyed their home (see Lessons from the Jordan Tornado of 1976). Yet they were resilient, not only rebuilding their house, but improving on its design, adding a sewing room that doubled as a guest room above the garage. Mom beautifully showed her skill as a seamstress, homemaker, and gardener while Dad’s passion and brilliance as an agronomist took him to great heights and deep valleys. His “3127” soybean variety developed with Asgrow Seed Company is legendary, but his objectives were tangential to those of corporate agricultural giants who caused him grief throughout his career. Mom and Dad have had their share of struggles, setbacks, and hard knock lessons, but together, under the gracious hand of God, they have endured.
So, Happy Anniversary to you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for sticking together through it all, for supporting my brother and I, and imparting to us your passion for work, fear of God, love of people, and enjoyment of nature.