We were young once…

These photograph were taken of each of us when we were each about twenty-one years old.  My husband died at seventy.  He would have been seventy-three on March sixteenth of this year.  I will be seventy years old on May twenty-first of this year.  Our daughter, Kelli, was forty-five years old on February fourth this year.  I cannot believe any of us are as old as we know in our heads we are.

 

George at Twenty-One

George at Twenty-one

 

 

Dean At Twenty-One

 

 

Kelli at Twenty-One

Kelli at Twenty-One

 

These are photographs of photographs taken through glass so they aren’t the best.   I am beginning to sound like somebody’s grandmother with a wallet full of photos of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren (I won’t live to see them) and maybe even her cats.  I was struck by the transience of our existence here the other night and photographed these for anybody who might be remotely interested in my little family.

The daughter is wearing her mother’s jacket.  I think we still have it around somewhere.  Everybody wore that thing.  Even Miss Sarah wore it, and she made me wear it to one of her special church banquets held in a fancy club in town.  She wanted to inspect my wardrobe to find out if I had something “shiny” enough to do.   She talked Dean into going along.  I could hardly believe it.  That’s a story in itself.  I must do one on Miss Sarah.  Now, that lady is somebody special whom anybody would have liked.

 

Dean and Me

Dean and Me

 

This may be the only photograph in existence of Dean and Me as very young kids.  I think it was probably shot by Dean’s good friend during the summer before we were married.  We were married on December 23, 1960 during  Christmas break of my freshman year in college.   I was eighteen years old and he was twenty-one years old.  We eloped to another state to be married by a Justice of the Peace who made us wait until Gunsmoke was over.  We could hear the TV show through the wall.  What an adventure that was!  My parents failed to appreciate the humor.

61 Comments on “We were young once…

  1. Your nostalgic look back brings to mind the line by the medieval French poet François Villon, “Mais où sont les neiges d’antan?” “But where are the snows of yesteryear?”

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  2. Thanks for sharing your photos – beautiful family. Simple weddings seem to me to be more sincere and honest. I would not want to be eighteen again but I’m older than I realize!

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  3. I officiated over a memorable elopement. Being the Presbyterian minister in a small town, their farming parents were ready to string me up by my thumbs. It was a mid-week evening and I was in the Manse. They’d brought along a couple of witnesses, took polaroids of themselves and threw them into each of their parents’ roadside mailboxes and attached balloons–then took off camping someplace. I knew them–and knew they were meant for one another, and knew they were too shy to have the blowout do their folks had in mind. But did I ever get dirty looks in the iGA and Post Office over that.

    I admire you more with each post.

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    • Presbyterian ministers don’t behave in such a fashion in small towns. You are lucky to escape the tar and feathers or, at the very least, the briar patch! What an interesting and revealing story. I love these two, and I don’t know them. Balloons and Polaroids in the mailbox. Lord, I wish I’d thought of that! No, I don’t think I’d have had the courage. Considering that I was dependent on my parents to support my education at the time. You’ve done such interesting and entertaining stuff, Lance. When do you write the memoir?

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  4. Beautiful George! I knew that was you the minute I saw the picture. One of my best friends is 20 years older than me, and I think of her as a contemporary, not my “old” friend. She is so much like you; young at heart and with a wicked sense of humor. I love her because she gets me, and always seems to know what the heck I’m talking about.

    You will always be young!

    elisa

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    • I’m giving “old lady” my best shot, but I don’t seem to get it right most of the time. I was a flaky twenty year old. I have not gotten it together yet. It’s odd, but most of my friends were always older by twenty years or so than I. Now, they’ve all died! I’m having to switch off to younger friends. It isn’t as if I choose a truckload anyway. There is always a young version of me wandering around somewhere! It is truly incredible how many of “us” there, Elisa! 😉 And, think about it, the world just moves right along in spite of us!

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      • I wish the great state of Texas was closer so we could share a glass of wine and a few stories. And laughs!

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        • Yep, me too, Elisa. I think I knew you very well in some other dimension…. My God! I was probably your mother. Remind me not to go back that route…. 😉

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  5. This post is truly beautiful.
    I enjoyed reading it and seeing the photographs; your smile is so beautiful!
    This is a coincidence, your husband died on march sixteenth and my grand father died that day, but 13 years ago.

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    • Thank you, Pablo. You are always such a delightful boy! 😉
      No, Dean died on July 31. He was born on March 16. At any rate, he and your grandfather shared a date with destiny, didn’t they?

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  6. Beautiful post. Wonderful pictures and an interesting tale. Gunsmoke at the wedding, but no shotgun. Can not imagine why the parents were displeased. Perhaps they preferred Maverick or Paladin. 🙂

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    • Yeah, they didn’t even appreciate the no shotgun thing. Actually, Dean’s mother began to think we’d never have a grandchild for HER. We were married for 8 years, I think, before we had the Mr. Magoo baby! I think my Dad was a real fan of Gunsmoke. I can’t imagine their displeasure. Especially since it cost them nothing….well, they did have to support me through college….

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  7. You two are stunning! And I love the Gunsmoke story. It’s far more interesting (and fun!) then those who invest so much in a wedding and so little in the actual marriage. Again George, you show how unique you are.

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    • Well, Mike said his JP marriage cost $15 and I assume he’s still married. Mine cost probably less since I”m older. The $12-$15 marriage lasted from 1960 to death did we part on July 31, 2009. I tell young people not to stand too close to each other in the expensive wedding photos. That way, each can cut off the other’s photo when the whole thing blows…as do 50% of the blissfully wed unions nowadays.

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      • LOL!! Smart thinking on not standing too close during wedding photos. You’re right, it makes it much easier to then crop the pic and immediately upload it to your facebook page while at the same time updating your status to ‘single’. Brilliant!

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  8. You two really did look like movie stars. I too got married at the justice of peace, cost $15 for my entire wedding. Love this post George, and although we were all young once, people only know us for what they see, leaving the rest of who we are to our own memory, and if we are lucky, to a few others who have known us over time.

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    • I knew there was something about you that I identified with…hell, I had no idea it was a $15 dollar wedding. 😉 Ah, I would not want to be eighteen again even for the memories!

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  9. Thanks for sharing these photos. I love the picture of you and your husband talking. What a great shot. And the story about your wedding made me laugh out loud. Thanks for putting a smile on my face, George.

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    • You’re welcome, Erica. Your wonderful photographs put a smile on my own face. The last one that I saw of the morning walk in the misting snow were breathtaking. A toy village perfectly drawn. You live in such a beautiful place, and your reporting of it is joyful.

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  10. George,
    First of all this is precisely the kind of post I want to see. I want to see glimpses into your life and family. You are all such lovely people and Dean was quite dashing. As fate would have it in our continued string of life coincidences, your birthday is the day before my beloved Juliet’s birthday. I knew there was some intrinsic reason why I must like you. Your daughter and I are pretty close in age which makes me feel like I need to get going if I ever expect to have any children or least father any (that I know of)
    Cheers GW!

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    • You do a wonderful job of letting us know your family, Michael. That’s unusual. I like that about you. Maybe we’re just nosy people who can’t keep our moths shut? 😉 I knew Juliet’s birthday was May 22. You will celebrate it in the happiest of circumstances too. I was delighted to hear that you were off on adventure again. Yes, Kelli had Charlie when she was 36. That’s old enough. I had Kelli when I was 25. That’s young enough. Life works out.

      Your comment, “that I know of” reminds me of Dean. When our lawyer was writing our wills, he sent them to me for review. I crossed out the standard “beloved” before husband and added “legitimate” between “only” and “child” on his. I know the lawyer thought I was some kind of witch. 🙂 I simply thought it was funny.

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  11. that picture of him looks like those old pics of crooners. and there’s a current actress of whom your picture reminds me. gonna bug me until i remember. grrrr….

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    • Yes, now that you mention it, the pose does look like the ones of the old crooners. He was a crooner all right, except he couldn’t sing. I guess the pose was in fashion at the time. I have such a big mouth and wide-tooth smile that people used to say I reminded them of Carol Burnett. Now, I think that might be a tiny bit offensive, but I just laughed… just like old Carol…

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  12. Beautiful pictures and I’m pretty sure beautiful memories too! Thanks for sharing your life with us. You are an open book and you are great!

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    • I often say that I would have no trouble at all with posting my financial statements on the gate to our business. I can’t think of much that I haven’t said about myself at some point in my life. Life is too short and it’s too much trouble to be a private person! 😉

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  13. Beautiful photos. I gather any parents would be less humored about an elopement. You must tell us more of that little tale. And yes, Ms Sarah. Looks like she knew about the bling-bling before it was called bling-bling.

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  14. These really are great photos. Even I had forgotten exactly how you and Dean looked back then. I don’t think I ever knew anybody quite as genuinely comfortable in his own skin as Dean either!!

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  15. Today with digital and iphone, we have so many photos. Are they more precious when there was just the one poorly cropped photo of you and your husband as teens? It’s the same in my house. There are just a handful of pictures of us as kids. My kids have thousands from birth onward. I wonder if they will take the time to go through them. And video….!

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    • I know. I have as many of my grandson. Not so many of his mother. My friends have more photos of her than I do. I suppose their children will do it for them. It takes a generation or so for such things to become important. Maybe you should retire one day and do it for them. You have such skill and talent. That would be quite the legacy to leave for them. I bought archival CDs years ago, but my stuff is stored online…for which I pay. My daughter probably doesn’t know it exists now that I think of it. 😉

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    • By the way, where can I get that old photo of Dean and me restored? Thanks, Victor.

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  16. Fabulous! I just love these. What a beautiful family! I love the photograph of you and Dean together on the rock wall. The story of the elopement is hilarious!!

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  17. You are only as old as you feel……. usually I feel about 16 years old, but this week it’s been more like 116 😀

    BTW.. I love Kelli’s 80’s hairdo… I’m a former 80’s girl myself.

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    • I know. I have those 116-year-old days myself. I don’t feel any older than I did at forty. I would NOT like to go back even one day. I like the age I am. Actually, I always liked how old I was. Hmmm. I guess I never thought much about it. I never had that crisis women talk about at 30 or 40 or 50. After 50, they no longer even make greeting cards with the age on them! 😉

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  18. What a beautiful memories.. You are all like a star… I agree with this thought. They are so beautiful photographs dear George. I loved you once again, you are always in my mind with your smiling face. Thank you sharing with us, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

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    • I do grin like a monkey, don’t I? Did you ever notice how mad old people look if they don’t smile? I used to tell my mother to smile. She looked angry when she was concentrating to hear what people said to her. That made her look too stern. She did not hear well when she got old. It amuses me to think of how I was always saying, “Smile, Lucy!” That was my affectionate nickname for her. It was also the name of our dog. I still use “Lucy” as a nickname for people whom I really like.

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  19. Beautiful pictures, and such a pleasure to see the family, and to see you and Dean when you were young. Dean looked just as I imagined him when he was young. There was a certain style in those days, and he had it.

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    • That he did. You would recall the Madras jackets and other items of clothing that were real Madras that “bled” when you washed it. Dean was a clotheshorse and a lady’s man if there ever was one. He spent more time on that hair than any girl, I’d wager. Odd how he changed as matured. When we went into business for ourselves, he grew a beard, did not wear a watch, and refused to wear a tie except on the very rare occasion when he absolutely could not avoid wearing one. He was the most content, secure-in-his-own-skin person I ever knew.

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      • By the way, I don’t know when I stopped identifying with that couple of kids. They don’t seem real to me now. The Dean that I remember well was much, much older. His beard was gray. He was a grown-up little boy who enjoyed his life and drove me absolutely crazy. We were good friends and business partners. I would never wish to be twenty-one again. Actually, I would never wish to be one day younger than I am today. How about you?

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        • I like the way you describe him. It sounds like he moved in the right direction. content, and secure-in-his-own-skin sounds very good, and a good friend and a partner sounds ideal to me in a mate. I can well imagine that you remember him best as he was when more mature. That is only natural. I am just like you about age. I think I’ve only improved as the years have gone by, and like myself most the way I am today.

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    • Thanks for the information. I wondered about that. I haven’t been in a studio in so long I’ve forgotten what the photographers do. The photographs I see now seem to be more casual or something. Photographers used to try to make their clients look better than they looked! Maybe that wasn’t a good thing? What is the difference now?

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      • The difference is, people (especially my generation) try to force the perfect pose. They try to force a happy smile and they all end up looking fake.

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  20. Hi George, you all three look like movies stars! I love your story about eloping, and Gunsmoke! I find these stories really interesting, and you tell them so well! Encore!

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    • Well, studios used to try to make everybody look like a movie star! They removed every possible flaw. I have no idea what they do now. The elopement was a funny story. Miss Sarah was such a character. Thanks for liking my little family photo album. 🙂

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