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November 8, 2007 Click here to mail this page to a friend.
Ignoring Clint Eastwood's advice in "Dirty Harry" that opinions, like certain body parts, are best kept to yourself.

November 8, 1958 - Dave and Helen get hitched.Dave is retired and doesn't have to do a damn thing.

I received an email this morning from my friend Dave in Florida. Dave has been retired since Clinton was president, spends his summers at an enviable island retreat on the Canadian border, his winters in Florida. As Dave says, "Life is good".

Subject: The way it was ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY November 8, 1958.

Dwight David Eisenhower is President of the United States. Gas is cheap. No war. A new Buick costs about $4,000. Its been a dark and windy night on the Iowa prairie. The dawn brings low scudding clouds and intermitent rain squalls across corn fields ravaged by two row tractor mounted cornpickers leaving the wreckage of stalks sticking up at odd angles like broken limbs. Because it is opening day of pheasant season in Iowa, Jim Henderson has his shotgun out, oiling and cleaning it in preparation for quick shooting.

Forty nine years ago today, Dave and Helen were preparing to take their nuptial vows at West Clermont Lutheran Church. Mighty preparations were underway. Great home grown hams were already resting in the church basement in preparation for the wedding feast to be held shortly after noon. Church ladies scurried about, peeling taters and mixing green Jello salads with little marshmallows in them.

Helen was a nervous bride, anxious to get this stuff over with so married life could begin in earnest with lots of lovin' and stuff in the crummy Northside Minneapolis apartment that Dave had rented right in the middle of a pure Jewish neighborhood where it was impossible to buy bacon or pork chops and the Thanksgiving Turkey was stabbed to death with a sword by a Jewish rabbi so as to make it Kosher. Dave was anxious to get it over with and head for Prarie DuChein and the traditional rituals of honeymooning.

And that's the way it was 49 years ago in Northeastern Iowa where all the Mother-in-laws are good cooks, the Father-in-laws are good shots and the newlyweds are itchy. Now, the aging couple sips coffee in the early morning sun and plans a celebrational journey to Sebring where they will purchase some luxuries like electrical outlets, and a few groceries. They are older now, and less frantic in their efforts to do stuff. Peace has descended on the geezer and geezerette. Aching joints are the norm and early to bed is essential.

The world is much more troubled than it was on the day of that long ago wedding. Pakistan and Iraq are troublesome and so is Iran and Venezuela. This part of Florida is in a bad drought. Jim and Thelma are gone. Oil is a hundred bucks a barrel. New WPA's are no longer $8,000! But things are not all bad. We've got good health, good friends, good kids and grandkids.

We give thanks.

Dave and Helen

I welcome responses, and will be glad to post them here. Email your remarks to

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