My parents were married on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 24, 1967. Coincidentally, that date also falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving 50 years later.
Daddy had been drafted into the Army that year. He went to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma for training and while there received his orders to go to Vietnam. He called my mom from the payphone at the PX on Halloween and told her the news.
Mom, somewhat in shock: "Well, what do you want to do?"
Daddy: "I think I wanna get married."
And that was that. Less than a month later they got married at Langley Air Force base. It was important that my parents be married because the Army doesn't care about your girlfriend and he wanted to make sure they would be taken care of.
My mother wore a light blue velvet dress that her friend made for her. Daddy and Doug (age 8) wore matching suits. Uncle Jack was the photographer, so the pictures got more blurry the more he drank.
Daddy left for Vietnam in January of 1968 and was gone for a year. The Army actually insisted on counseling Daddy before he got married because Mom was three years older and divorced with a child. She may have just been trying to get his Army pension (or death benefits). Daddy was insulted.
In these days of instant communication, I'm amazed that they went that whole year with only letters. Mom sent a letter every single day. They did get one week in Hawaii for a honeymoon. Friends warned Mom that war does horrible things to a man and to prepare herself that he may not look so great. She said that he was tan, in the best shape of his life, and really happy to see her.
They had two more children (Perry in 1971 and me in 1977) and would have had more if biology would have cooperated.
My parents have disagreed over the years, like most humans do. However, it was always very clear to me that they adored each other, supported each other, and loved fiercely and unconditionally.
Happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad. They're not big on fancy celebrations, but I want to give them credit for being each other's #1 fan, incredible parents, and doting grandparents.