Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jouyeaux Anniversaire ~ A Love Story



~ September 19th ~
is a wonderful day for me as
I remember my parents ~
This would have been my parents
57th wedding anniversary...
  




My parents spent 38 wonderful years
together
Both passed in their 66th years seven years apart.
Both from cancer of differing types ~ Dad due to 
melanoma
Mom from lung cancer.
I miss them both ever so much...

A photo collage at our Big Home ~ Mom and Dad's wedding portrait along with a smaller round snapshot
centered in the middle.  On this hallway wall,  I've displayed our wedding portrait {upper left} along with a card I gave
Charles long ago {lower left} as well as my father's parents' wedding portrait.



But, I didn't come here to cry
or
to make you cry,
I came to share a love story...
:)


Gene and Ginny met while working 
at a small coffee shop
in Boston, Massachusetts
while both were attending college.


Dad was in between services
with the 
United States Army {enlisted, 1950's}
and the 
United States Air Force {as an officer}.
He was going to the University of Massachusetts studying 
a double major in Business and I want to say Law,
but I'm not really sure about the second.


Gene had spent three years with the Army 
down in Panama 
traveling and performing with the 
Army band there ~ 
playing the piano and french horn.

He moonlighted playing in a jazz band on 
Saturday nights at a club there ~ eventually 
being offered
a job with Lester Lanin
and his band and orchestra.
Gene didn't take the position, though,
instead signing up with the Air Force, 
becoming a JAG ~
short for Judge Advocate General ~
in other words: a lawyer.


Gene and Ginny married in September of 1959.
They married during the golden era of Hollywood
around the time when Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco
and
 Jacqueline Bouvier married the future President John F. Kennedy
when they were the toast of the nation.

My mother was tall and lithe ~ she looked beautiful in 
high school photos in her yearbooks 
wearing the proverbial 1950's skirts and 
Peter Pan~collared button~up shirts with a 
cashmere sweater over top.

When she and my father went out
she was stunningly beautiful in 
the evening gowns she wore, and 
her hair was stylishly short like Jackie Kennedy's.
She was studying English
at Boston College
and
played on BC's basketball team
{something I found out years later}.
Later on she switched majors to 
Special Education
after my deaf brother was born.


Their first posting with the United States Air Force
was to Ohio, my home state.
My deaf brother Frank and I were born 
there in Ohio.
On a side note
the rubella vaccine was brand new back then
and I was vaccinated and so was Mom
however
babies in-vitro couldn't be
so
that is how Frank became deaf
as a result of rubella floating around
from neighbors who unfortunately 
had the disease.
And happily we love Frank
just as he is!
:)


I used the Canon to photograph this Polaroid I took when I was about 11 ~ our second house on Oahu, Hawaii.
My three brothers ~ Frank, Gene and Tom ~ about 1972.  I shared in my last post about these
Koala Bears.


Many other wonderful places came thereafter:
Colorado {where my brother Gene was born},
Massachusetts {where my youngest brother Tom was born}, 
then four fantastic beach~filled years in Hawaii
and finally 
moving to sunny California
where my father retired after 20 years
of military service.

My parents were best friends
who loved opera and listening to
Boston Pops performances
on t.v. specials in the late 1970s and through the 80's.
The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan records, and many other
operas and musicals
were the stuff my brothers and I grew up
listening to every weekend.
My father and mother performed in a number of plays together
when we lived in Hawaii and Dad was always a
lead character in one play or another
all the way up until his passing.

They had a shared love of watching football
basketball and hockey on t.v.
The San Francisco 49ers were their favorite football team
though they were happy to watch any football game.

Sometimes, Dad would play his rendition of the
Happy Birthday song
to Mom and us kids
whenever it was our birthdays.
His arthritis was bad so he rarely played piano anymore
as he got older so it was a treat when he would play.
I was always in awe of his ability 
to read so many notes
on a page of sheet music at one time!

Frank standing out front of Mom and Dad's home as it was in 2008 or so.

Connecticut was their final home place
and they found a home with 12 acres and a pond.
Every February they held a skating party
inviting friends and family
serving
New England clam chowder
or Daddy's famous
spaghetti and meatballs made with
cooked chicken and Scottish banger sausages
to the hungry crowd.





A view through the kitchen window screen down to the half~acre pond.  

Their plan on Dad's retirement
was to sell this home
buy a motorhome coach and travel down to
Tennessee and the Carolinas
looking for a retirement home
and
visiting my aunt and uncle on Hilton Head
as well as traveling the country.
This was not to be...
{Funny, as now we are living that life... more or less.}
;)


All good Love stories must come to an end
but Love never really ends
does it?


I'd love it if you'd share 
your parents' love story
or your own 
or a family member's love story
with me and 
with the others who read 
this little ole blog!
Please leave a comment and 
tell us your story.

Blessings to you on this lovely
warm Sunday morning,
Barb
:)






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