Salt and pepper. Sugar and spice. Ham and eggs. Hot and cold. Left and right. Biscuits and gravy. Bogey and Bacall. Abbot and Costello. Burns and Allen. Lewis and Martin. Roy and Dale and Trigger and Bullet.

And then there are my couples, two folks who hooked up and have, not only stayed together, but have become as much of a match as the pairs listed above. There is no way i could list all of those i know, but here are some who stand out in my mind:

My folks: She told her mother when she was a sophomore-to-be in high school who she was going to marry. He was in bib jeans, no shirt, walking home to Spring Street after helping his father doing daily maintenance at Lebanon High School. She was visiting her mother. Granny was working 24-7 as a nurse, or what we now call a care-giver, in a home on North Cumberland Street, east side. As he was walking down the hill approaching the house, she tugged at her mother and had her come to the porch. As he walked by, she told her mother that was the man she was going to marry. Six years later, she did. They were not rich, far from it. He was working at Hankins and Smith by 1938, a mechanic if not already the shop supervisor for $13 a week. She had taken a job as a teller for Commerce Union Bank for $22 a month. She also was helping several businesses with their book keeping to supplement their incomes. They never stopped working. They did all right by my measure. They never stopped loving. And they were complimentary to each other’s expertise and their personalities. Yeh, they are tops on my couples list.

My daughter Blythe and her husband Jason Gander. i said it when i made my toast at the reception after their wedding they had the best chance of anyone i knew to matching her grandparents as a couple. They are doing pretty well at it. She met him when she was visiting us in the Southwest Corner. He was a sailor, an aviation boatswainmate on the USS Tripoli. They fooled around for a couple of years after he got out and went back to Kansas, but apparently, he couldn’t stand it and moved to Austin to be with her. It worked. They have an amazing son, Sam, my grandson.

Then there’s Eddie and Brenda Callis. High school sweethearts. Lasted a long time. They play gin rummy every day. She is still winning. They take care of a lot of people in many ways. Brenda is the daughter of my father’s boss, later partner. We’ve known each other a long time, even longer than either of us have known Eddie. No matter. They are rather spectacular.

Henry and Brenda Harding. Married late. Didn’t matter. They have a relationship as strong, if not stronger than anyone i know. i met Henry at our Christening several years ago. Feel like i know him like a brother. Heck, he is my other brother. Every time i see them, which is far too infrequently, i marvel at the strength of their relationship.

Marty and Linda Linville. They too were high school sweethearts, marrying while he was going to college and playing football. Long lasting. Strong. i smile every Friday morning when i see Marty park before our Friday morning golf round. He calls her to see how she is doing and to let her know he got there safely.

Pete and Nancy Toennies. i really can’t tell who made which decision. They are synergistic. Met out here when Pete was a new Navy SEAL and she was a nurse. He’s from New York City. She is from Southwest Tennessee/Northwest Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Doesn’t matter. Perfect.

There are many others. i won’t go into my thoughts about Maureen and some goofy guy. i’ve pretty well covered that and undoubtedly will do so again. Although we were later: she was 33; i was approaching 40. Been a pretty amazing ride these last 35 years.

The impetus in writing about couples is one other set of them. Thinking about these two set me off about considering couples.

Buddy and Beverly Phillips. Buddy fell in love with Beverly sometime around junior high, i think if not earlier. He waited patiently for several years. He was rewarded. It does not matter how long they have been married (it’s a long time). When i see them, it makes me feel warm inside. The world got something right when they matched up.

Beverly has been having some health problems again. She beat it the first time. With the strength of their love, i’m thinking she’s going to beat it again. That would make me feel better. After all, they are a couple. A real perfect couple.


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