People who fall in love in the movies usually live happily ever after. Real life doesn’t always follow the movie script, however, as some marriages can end in divorce.
The Southern Standard was excited to find almost 200 happily married couples in Warren County who have beaten the odds and indeed lived happily ever after since pledging their wedding vows over 50 years ago.
These couples are featured in a special section in today’s edition called “Love Stories.”
In honor of these couples and their commitment to marriage, the Southern Standard held a reception in their honor Saturday at Westwood Church of Christ with an estimated 220 people in attendance.
Twin sisters Avie Clemons and Evie Campbell were in attendance with their husbands, Leonard Clemons and Dawson Campbell.
“We both married in our mom and dad’s living room,” said Avie. “Leonard and I married in November and Evie and Phillip married the following March. We double dated then and we still double date now. We also go on trips together. We have been to Alaska and Myrtle Beach.”
Added Evie, “Our next trip will be on our birthday, Feb. 21, to a Lady Vols games at UT. We are big Vols fans and we will be celebrating our 70th birthday together.”
George and Charlien McGlothin, owners of Falcon Rest Mansion, were on hand to entertain the couples. Dressed in period attire from the 1800s, the McGlothins acted out a skit in which they were Clay and Mary Faulkner. The two made their way through the crowd telling amusing stories about Falcon Rest and the people who lived there while involving several people in the audience.
Leonard Martin almost stole the show when asked how long he had been married.
“Too long,” Martin replied to laughter from the crowd.
Martin and his wife, Lois, have certainly been married a long time. They were honored by Standard publisher Pat Zechman as being the longest married couple in attendance. The Martins have been married 71 years. They married on Easter Sunday in 1941.
Dr. Eben Gilbert was the guest speaker and provided words of wisdom. “Somehow, some way you folks have learned to love each other and that love has helped your through over 50 years of marriage,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert compared the couples to a Sequoia tree. “It takes a few weeks to grow a mushroom. It takes over 100 years to grow a Sequoia tree. You folks are like a Sequoia tree. The Sequoia tree has put down roots,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert told a story of a reporter who asked a man his thoughts on what it takes for a lasting marriage. “We were born in a time when you fixed something that might be broken. You did not throw it away,” the man answered. Obviously, you folks are fixers,” said Gilbert.
“As you put more emphasis on being a loving person – which is in your control, instead of how much love you get – which is out of your control, you will be a happier person,” Gilbert said.
Attendees were treated to cake, nuts and punch. Pictures of each couple were made and each received complimentary frames to hold their pictures as a remembrance of their special day. A slide show presentation was a hit as the pictures being shown were of the couples, some on their wedding day, some in the earlier stages of marriage, and others in recent years.
Southern Standard employees in the advertising department served as hosts with help from the local 4-H club and extension agent Hilda Lytle. Rev. Kenneth Kirby, who has been married 51 years to Sephfronia, was on hand to say the blessing before the reception.