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Sweet 55

It’s hard to believe that we have been married 55 years. Today we celebrated the official beginning of our married life. He was 22 and I was 19 on May 2, 1968. At the time, no one seemed happy with our decision. My parents refused to come to our wedding ceremony. His parents were confused but kind…and stayed away too. Friends tried to talk me out of it. But I knew this was my guy. The one who had dreams as big as mine. The one who encouraged me to pursue a career in engineering and who to this day believes in me and supports the wild adventures I sometimes need to write the books I have and am writing. He was the one that understood…and supported…my need to leave and then…when the time was right, my need to return to Arkansas.

Some of our friends who came to our wedding have passed now. G.T. Kellogg, who stood in for my dad, picked me up at the dorm after a miscommunication as to who would drive me to Newman Center Chapel and then walked me down the short aisle. I remember his big encouraging grin when we got out of his car…and how serious he was as he handed me over to Johnny. And my old boyfriend, Tom Gates, who knew we were incompatible but was still mad that I was marrying one of his roommates, was Johnny’s best man. He scowled at me and pretended he had forgotten the ring…but hugged me tight and whispered sincere best wishes in my ear. That these two good guys left this world way too early still makes me tear up and be grateful for their loving friendship. And Geri Cornwall, who was in several of my classes and was there with another friend of Johnny’s, took the only pictures…although she never got around to sending us copies before she was murdered in Tulsa seven years later. Our other friends filled the chapel or showed up later at the apartment Johnny shared with Tom and Larry Wikoff.

I remember Johnny putting the ring on my finger and when I put his ring on his. (He’s since lost his and mine no longer fits.) I remember the kiss…it was intense and tentative at the same time. It sealed our bargain…our private promises to be good to each other and back each other up …and to go places and do things together …and to always respect and love each other.

After the ceremony, we ate cake and everyone but me drank beer or wine or champagne...and someone…I don’t remember who…made coffee for me. Then we slipped off to a private dinner at an Italian restaurant and spent the night at Beaver Lake.

So, enjoying today in Eureka Springs, with our son and new old friend Sandi Miller, was so lovely. The circle of our lives …

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Mindy Lawrence
Mindy Lawrence
May 03, 2023

The two of you have been so wonderful for each other. Congratulations.

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