Ages 81 and 87
Married 62 years, with three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren
Gladys: In 1948, when I was a high school senior, my girlfriend asked me to go with her and some other folks on a triple date. I told her, “I don’t go on blind dates.” Then she showed me a picture of Harold and I changed my mind. He was a college fella and so handsome!
On the evening we all planned to go to the movies, I was very excited. Harold came to the door to get me. But when we got to the car, where two other boys and two young ladies were waiting, Harold sat down and put his arm around another girl! I had to spend the evening with some other boy, who was full of himself. I did not have fun on that date.
Harold: I can’t remember why I chose another girl to be with that night, but, boy, I knew I had messed up. Bee—that’s what everyone calls Gladys—was very cute. She talked a lot and got along with everyone. After that evening, I called her three times and asked her out, but she kept turning me down. So I finally bluffed her out. I said, “If you don’t say yes, I’m not calling you anymore.”
Gladys: I agreed to go with him on a date, but only because I wanted to punish him for messing up and not choosing me that first night. My plan was to spend the evening being totally indifferent.
Harold: Thankfully, she changed her mind.
Gladys: We went to a drive-in movie, then had po’boys and curlicue potatoes afterward. I saw that Harold was smart and very kind. And he had a red convertible. That was big stuff back then. After a few dates, it grew into true love.
Harold: Two years later, in 1950, when I was 25 and Bee was 20, we went to the local courthouse and got married. But we kept it a secret, because Bee’s parents thought that she was too young.
Gladys: I was living at home and going to business school while Harold was studying to become a dentist. I hid the marriage certificate in my bedroom. Two weeks later, my mother found it when she was cleaning my room. Shocked, she called the justice of the peace and asked him, “Did you marry my daughter?” My parents came around, though. They liked Harold. He’s a good fella.
Harold: I learned early on to always ask Gladys what she would rather do. That’s one secret to our marriage: I don’t pretend to be a know-it-all.
Gladys: Harold has always put me first. After we got married, he wouldn’t go golfing at the country club with the other men. He would play with me. I love that about him.
Harold: Gladys has brought out the best in me by giving me unconditional support.
Gladys: Harold and I still enjoy each other’s company more than anyone else’s. We can’t play golf anymore, but we like to watch tournaments together on TV. And we’ve always been big Louisiana State University football fans, so we never miss a game. Oh sure, we still get mad at each other, but we try not to get mad at the same time.
Harold: There’s not enough love in this world, so you can’t lose when you meet someone like Bee. I am very lucky.