World War II is being waged. A neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan, like many other neighborhoods, has a program in place that gives the name of a neighborhood GI to a local girl. She is to write him and send him news of home. One such girl, Shirley, gets the name of local guy named Gordon. They start a correspondence. She is young – in her teens. He is 4 years older. They decide to exchange photos. Gordon sends a rather rakish photo of himself in khakis, no shirt, dogtags around his neck – leaning against a wall. Shirley sends him a photo of her pretty face – she cuts off the rest of her body in the photo as she has bobby sox on and doesn’t want him to see them.
When Gordon finally comes home from War, he arranges to meet Shirley at the corner drug store for a soda. They talk, flirt (I’m sure) and Gordon walks Shirley home. On the walk, Gordon tells Shirley: “I’m going to marry you.” Shirley thinks to herself, “Oh, come on. What a big talker.”
Six months later they are married. She is 18 and he is 22.
I love this story. I love hearing it. It is wonderfully romantic. Gordon and Shirley are my parents. They are celebrating 65 years of marriage today. Sixty-five. I’m sure glad Mom pulled Dad’s name out of the hat. Their devotion to each other has only grown stronger. They love each other deeply. And, in a world where the percentage of marriages that end in divorce is very high, they have stuck together through tough times, personal crises, illness, financial struggle and the loss of a child.
Happy 65th Anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you both with all my heart. Thank you for everything.