Thursday, June 7, 2012

80th Wedding Anniversary

The wedding photo. Maryan and Glenn, 1932
   Today, June 7, 2012, would have been my parents' 80th wedding anniversary.
   Glenn and Maryan (James) Gill managed to celebrate 66 years of marriage before my father passed away.
   I'm happy to say I still have my mother's wedding dress, but not that chic hat.

   As I mentioned in a previous post, the first person I was going to look for in the 1940 census was going to be me.
   Didn't take long, once I could actually get into the images. There I was with my parents and my mother's parents living at the Flat Iron Store, a country store near Perrysville, Indiana.
   My father had an advertising agency in Danville, Illinois, and my grandparents (John T and Lucinda (Carrigan) James) reported they were working 70 hours a week. I assume the store was open 7 days a week, 10 hours a day. In case you think I left the period off my grandfather's middle initial, I didn't. He didn't have a middle name. He made it up to differentiate himself from other John Jameses, a common name where he was born in England.

   My memories of the store and the six years we lived there are a little vague.
   I know we had some great summer picnics out in the yard and I have a painful memory of smashing my finger playing croquet at one of them. The remedy was soaking it in the ice water where the sodas were kept cold.
   Neighbors used to come into the store in the evenings and play euchre. I sat on my grandmother's lap as she played.

   A visual memory is sitting in the store in the dark with the only light from the dial of the radio as my grandfather listened to the Gillette Friday night fights. I assume it was during the war and always wondered if it was a war blackout or just saving money on electricity.
   There was a crank telephone on the wall that connected us to the party line. Our ring was three shorts and one long.
   The story my mother loved to tell was that my grandfather answered the phone when my dad called to announce my birth. She didn't really like saying the words grandpa shouted: "G** D***, it's a boy!"


  1. What a good-looking couple your parents were. Actually, your mom is quite beautiful! I enjoyed reading your memories of your childhood. Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  2. I also enjoyed reading your childhood memories. Seeing how your grandpa and grandma reacted your birth is so fun. Why? Because it showcases both of their personalities in a small paragraph. Happy Anniversary Maryan & Glenn.

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