Gold plus three for Bill and Barb

At least four things happened on this day in 1957. In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a Marmota monax named Phil saw his shadow at 7:47 a.m, correctly sensing an extension of wintry weather that year. Eleanor Roosevelt used her newspaper column “My Day” to admonish the instigators of what she called “unfortunate incidents” related to the fact that President Eisenhower had gone personally to meet King Saud of Saudi Arabia at National Airport in Washington. In men’s college hoops, the Sooners prevailed over the visiting Texas Longhorns on their home court at Norman, Oklahoma, 71 to 59.

And at Sudbrook Methodist in Pikesville, Maryland, outside of Baltimore, 27-year-old Willard from the neighboring town of Reisterstown and 21-year-old local girl Barbara plighted their troth and began a life journey together that continues, I’m happy to say, to this very day.

The way they were. Cutting handsome figures and cake on the Big Day.

The church Mom grew up in and got married in as it looks today. It has recently closed its doors due to decline in membership.

They moved to Bellevue, Washington, a couple of years later, where they raised three children: Jenifer, Matthew and Benjamin; two dogs: Vicky and Lassie; and a number of cats. Along the way they have been the friends of many and continue to be a blessing to me and my own nuclear family and my friends. Which reminds me that my mom made a pea soup so good that even Kip would eat it, even though he allowed no other pea soup to pass his lips.

The venerable pair a few years ago. Still speaking to each other, as it happens.

More about Mom and Dad later. For right now, happy 53rd anniversary to two wonderful people.

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10 Responses to “Gold plus three for Bill and Barb”


  1. 1 Kip February 2, 2010 at 17:25

    Many happy returns on the. day, many more blessings, and many more years to your parents! The many good times under the roof of your family can never be washed away by the waters of time. I must admit there is a slight mist in my eye reading this post…must be the high pollen count! Please give your folks my congratulations!

    • 2 jstwndrng February 2, 2010 at 23:33

      Kipper, I will certainly pass your congratulations and good wishes on to them. Yeah, we had some good times at ol’ 1653 didn’t we? As well as at your folks’ old place. Now all those houses are but sepia-tinted memories. Yours, Jeff’s, mine. Angela and I brunched at Chace’s Pancake Corral yesterday, a block from the old homestead, considered driving down my old street; didn’t after all. I haven’t the heart to see what monstrosity they’ve built on the site of so much of my dad’s handiwork.

  2. 3 leatherhead109 February 3, 2010 at 18:59

    I love that picture of Mom and Dad! Well, …both pictures actually. Pa looks rather “snappy”. The pea soup was and remains unlike any other I have known upon the earth. One doesn’t come across pea soup in every day life much anymore and it used to try my endurance sorely. However, ones tastes change as you age and I have found, (particularly after one choice week of starvation at Boot Camp) that you should never quibble about the contents of the pantry. Since that time my culinary tastes have flourished as is noted by my physiche (sp?) which must always be kept in check. I just spoke with said paternal pair, and as fate would have it, both our kitchens are serving up Kosher Dawgs this night! ” ‘pon my word!” as mother is fond of saying!

  3. 4 Louis February 4, 2010 at 14:06

    Happy Anniversary to your folks, Matt!

  4. 5 jstwndrng February 4, 2010 at 21:04

    @Louis, thanks! I’ll pass that on to them.

    @Ben, In the earlier photo, Dad looks like the luckiest man in the world. I only just this week realized that both of their left hands are invisible in that shot. I wouldn’t put it past Dad to have been engaging in some just-married monkey business, and Mom has that particular smirk on her face that suggests her own left hand might be back there swatting at his. Of course that’s just me making up stories, but…well, they had three of us.

  5. 6 Kip February 5, 2010 at 17:37

    Knowing your folks, I believe you to be correct, Matt!

  6. 7 leatherhead109 February 6, 2010 at 14:48

    Dad was and is a closet “character”. I can hear the Sheriff, standing in the front room, “Afternoon Jennie, …is young Willard about? It seems the ol’ Farnham place has burned down…”

  7. 8 jstwndrng February 7, 2010 at 17:03

    @Kip, LOL. They weren’t fooling you, eh?

    @Ben, that’s a great Rockwellian image, although from what I remember no one ever suspected young Willie and…who was it, Carol G? They just heard people marvelling out loud that the house had burned. I’ll have to get Dad to tell that story again and just post the whole thing here, it’s so good.

    • 9 leatherhead109 February 8, 2010 at 14:08

      Bestimmt! Last time he told it to me, it had changed a bit, he remembers the old stuff much clearer now than before. Parts and bits we’ve never heard before. I know that he wasn’t “bobbed” for it, but it was the perfect mental image. Also, …have you seen the pictures of old Jake and Ralph? Those dudes were some bad apples. There is actually a book out on them, circa 2005 in think. They made history, first FBI case utilizing specific scientific criteria to bust the “perps”.

      • 10 jstwndrng February 8, 2010 at 15:49

        Ben, I asked Dad yesterday if he’d mind me telling that story here and he’s a little wary, not understanding how it all works, privacy-wise. I told him I don’t use our last name here, but it’s discoverable if people really want to go to the trouble. For the sake of his peace of mind, I’m going to let that story season for a while. As for Jake and Ralph, I prefer to let those sleeping dogs lie.


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