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THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
Our kids had been laying plans for this at least a year and a half in advance. Bob and Mary were sending invitations and a constant stream of progress bulletins. You would have thought something important was about to happen. At first, the party was to be at Tom and Maxine's house in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; but, when they got wind of what we were doing, they switched locations to San Antonio.
As you might expect, it was a highly organized enterprise. About 65 friends and relatives from all over the U. S., and even from Germany, attended. It covered several days with talent shows, food, games, and lots of talk. On Saturday night, October 28th, over 100 people came to an Open House, as our new neighbors had been invited. The weather cooperated. Caterers' food stations were scattered in the back yard. Good music. It was exhilarating. Ellie and I were beginning to feel important.
Tom and his group had acquired copies of newspapers from 1939 and plastered our walls with them and other memorabilia.
Sunday, October 29th, the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Banquet was held atop the near-by Wyndham Hotel. It was a huge success -- champagne, the works. Andrea proposed a toast to her parents on behalf of her brothers and herself, in which she said (paraphrased of course), "Our parents pushed us very hard but let us do what we wanted to." Tom was a masterful master of ceremonies. Mary had special gold rimmed champagne glasses for Ellie and me. My gift to Ellie was a gold boot with diamonds on a gold necklace chain. This originated the saying that, "Andy gave Ellie the boot on their fiftieth wedding anniversary." To summarize, we were euphoric.
Who paid for all this? Not me. The kids sprung for the whole thing; so I knew I was over the hill.
Go on to next chapter.
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