Saturday, May 20, 1972 was the day the Warden and I started out. My older brother, Gary was Best Man and the Maid of Honor was the Warden’s best friend Nene. It was in a little town called New Deal, just 13 miles north of Lubbock, TX where the Warden and I were both senior college students at TTU.
Now I reckon that was a good place for a newly wedded couple to start out in. You stood out like a sore thumb because New Deal was the typical farming community made up of middle aged and older couples. Most of them knew your business better than you did; most were ready with their advice for a long happy marriage and if you had a “spat” every one knew it.
Sonja, our next door neighbor knew things were a little tough financially around the “new household” and was always asking for the Warden to help to pick the garden, butcher chickens or can corn. And it seemed there was always something that “won’t fit in the freezer, so you take it home” or “I fixed a little too much can you use this?” I was always glad when she baked too many pies!
Corky, who farmed up north of town, told me that to keep a woman from running off you had to “keep her barefoot in the winter and pregnant in the summer”. And it had worked pretty well for him, last count I knew of, he had 6 kids and Rollabee was on the nest again. However, the Warden is still hanging around even though she has 34 pair of shoes in the closet and a hysterectomy!
Suzy, who was the postmistress, told the Warden one day, “Now you make that man share the work around the house. No man is worth keeping who won’t do dishes once in a while!” The Warden has heeded Suzy’s advice for the last 34 years.
I remember one Sunday afternoon, when the Warden and I had a fight. Now it wasn’t just a couple words type, it had been pretty well all afternoon. When we went to services that night I am sure we still showed the bristles. Everyone was eyeing one another out of the corners of their eyes with those “knowing” looks and giving each other little nod or a “questioning” look with a shrug of the shoulders.
When it came time to start the song service, Ron (the song leader) got up, gave a nod to Bill (the preacher) and we sang all the verses of “Angry Words”, “Love Lifted Me” and “Wonderful Story of Love”. Bill then said he was going to change his sermon from what the bulletin said. He had decided to preach on 1st Corinthians, 13 commonly known as “The Love Chapter”. We then ended services with all the verses of “Bless Be the Tie That Binds”.
Yeah, the people of New Deal kind of watched over us.
Well since then there has been a lot of laughter, heartaches, worries, promises, tears, sweat and even a few threats but I reckon we’ll make another year. And if I were to give any couple-to-be a “word of advice” it would have to be to marry your best friend. (Assuming of course the friend is of the opposite gender!)