Dateline Dayton – Last Friday was Sept. 1, and I can’t believe how time whizzes past us. Pauline and I are celebrating our 55th wedding anniversary.
I clearly remember all of the details — asking for her hand in marriage and she said no.
A few days later, I asked if she could change her mind, which I gladly allowed.
There was, however, a condition: I had to ask her parents — and she did not want to be there.
I was willing to take on the task, in order to get the hand of this beautiful girl.
The asking went well. At Christmas 1961, I gave her a ring and formally asked her to marry me. This was followed by a kiss.
Pauline’s aunt and uncle were at the house. They showed us how to really kiss, not the timid kiss I gave her.
Now it was time to set a date.
We did not want to get married in the same year her brother, Joe, would be ordained a Catholic priest.
We agreed on Sept. 1, 1962. As it turned out, Joe did get ordained in December of the same year because the bishop was going to be in Rome in 1963.
So much for our best-laid plans.
Starting with Pauline’s birthday in April 1962, we began accumulating items for our first home. I gave her a set of dresser lamps. We still use one of them. The other was broken one time.
Who Would Take Her Arm?
Pauline’s father suffered a stroke before I met her. He had difficulty walking. The question was, would he be able to walk her down the aisle? He did, proudly.
He handed me a gorgeous girl that day. I was happy to take her, for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do we part.
Our wedding was beautiful, with Pauline’s brother, Father Joe, participating in the ceremony.
The wedding was followed by a meal put on by the school cafeteria workers. Pauline’s mother was the cafeteria manager.
The meal was followed by a reception at a park building in Piqua, our hometown. I paid the grand sum of $15 for rent. Our reception was simple, cake, ice cream and punch.
We went to Niagara Falls on our honeymoon.
Our first place was an upstairs double, which we were able to redo to our liking.
The landlord, who later turned out to be my boss for a number of years, paid for all the material.
We wanted to do the work ourselves. But it was more than we could handle. My dad came to the rescue, helping us to put down a new floor in the kitchen. Ironically, when my brother married years later, he moved into that same apartment.
Today, it’s five good children and 10 wonderful grandchildren later.
Pauline suffers from Alzheimer’s..
But I wouldn’t change a thing, with the exception of being a better husband and father, and Pauline’s dementia.
Looking forward to many more years together.
Mr. Hennessey may be congratulated at firstname.lastname@example.org