Our Fifty-Eighth Wedding Anniversary

7 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Author, Poet and Artist

Bill and I were married at the Congregational Church in La Mesa, a small town on the California coast. Friends of Bill’s Mother’s had come through Albuquerque where I lived with my parents, and had invited me to ride back to California where they now lived, so I could visit Bill. He was stationed on the U.S.S Hector at the naval base in San Diego.  It seems now that when we decided to get married, so I could stay there with him, all we had to do was say, “We’re getting married,” and everything was done for us that could be done at such short notice.” In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t a “shot-gun” wedding. Even though we’d been engaged for a year, our mothers were shocked when we called them.  Since Bill was only nineteen and a parent had to sign for a boy under twenty-one, Bill’s mother sent her permission. I, as a girl of eighteen, did not need signed permission from my parents, but I did need a blood test.

Our dads were unable to be there because they were both on business trips – William Lites, Senior, for the Southern Baptist Convention and Ivan Bowers for the Atomic Energy Commission.  They worked hard to support their families and were both gone many hours and days throughout our teenage years.

Our mothers worked for the government at desk jobs in Albuquerque.  They worked hard too, but they had more regular hours and were able to come to the wedding.  My Mother, Dora Bowers, drove out with my Aunt Jenny, and my cousin, Kathy.  Bill’s mother, Agnes, and Bill’s younger sister, Judy, flew out on a  TWA Constellation from Albuquerque.

I had planned to wear my pink linen dress from the previous Easter for the wedding. It had only a tiny stain on the skirt, but Joan, the lady I was staying with, insisted on borrowing a wedding dress from her friend.  We were married by the Reverend Curtis Claire.  He chucked obey from the wedding service because he thought it was too old fashioned.

1 wedding

We had the weekend before Labor Day to get ready for the wedding. Our mothers and hosts booked the church, bought the cake, made the punch, took us grocery shopping, and helped us find a place to live, none of which either of us had ever done before.

We drove Aunt Jenny’s car away from the church. When we left Joan’s house after the reception, however, we had to get into Bill’s chopped and channeled 1932 five-window Ford Coupe and drive the ten miles on the San Diego Freeway to our new home. It was a bedsit in an old house, next to Balboa Park in a suburb of San Diego.  We had the tiniest yard you ever saw, with a pomegranate tree in it. We left the white vinyl couch made into a bed because we were at work all day and it wasn’t worth bothering to fold it up every morning and put it down every night.

Chop Car

On Bill’s first day off, we went to the San Diego Zoo. I don’t’ think I’d ever been to a zoo before. It was wonderful and I loved it. I got a job at a diner and rode the bus to work. We had a lot of fun, we both loved the movies and went to one every weekend in downtown San Diego. On quiet nights at home, with no T V, Bill worked on model airplanes and I read library books. On a misty night in January, we packed everything we owned into the second-hand Mercury Bill had traded the hot rod for. We drove over California mountains and across Arizona desert to Albuquerque where I stayed for eight months attending Beauty School while Bill went cruising to Japan swabbing decks all the way.

5 Responses to “Our Fifty-Eighth Wedding Anniversary”

  1. Louise Gibson September 8, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    Congratulations, Divoran and Bill. It s heartwarming to hear of a happy marriage,


    • divoran09 September 9, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Thanks, Louise. It seems like a short time now. Love, DiVoran


  2. Linda Lewis September 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

    Happy Anniversary, DiVoran. May you two enjoy MANY more happy years together!


    • divoran09 September 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      Thanks, Linda. It’s better now than it has ever been. God is so good to us.

      Love, DiVoran


  3. Barbara Radisalvjeivc September 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Congratulations on beating today’s marriage statistics. I’ve been married for 51 years now, and neither of us even had a driver’s licence on our wedding day. We couldn’t afford a honeymoon, either, since my husband was finishing one more course to graduate from UCLA and he only had a part time job. I had no job. We were living on very little, but we did have an apartment. I took a few temporary jobs when I had a chance, but we managed until we both finished grad school. Then we both got jobs. We had a small wedding, but the marriage lasted.


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