Newlyweds oftentimes dream of celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. But how many even consider a platinum anniversary?
Bill and Dorothy Wright, of Denair, celebrated that monumental occasion on Aug. 15, marking their 70th wedding anniversary.
The secret to a long and joyous marriage is simple, according to Dorothy.
Just find someone you can be yourself around. Then you won’t feel pressured to act a certain way.
But marriage takes effort all the time, even if you find the right someone.
“We are careful of each other’s feelings,” Dorothy said. “We don’t push each other.”
Of course, the Wrights didn’t know how perfect they were for each other when they first met in Hall County, Texas.
Dorothy’s family moved into the farm next door to Bill’s family cotton farm. Before long, Dorothy was wrangled into a blind date with her new neighbor.
“Well I had to go with him,” Dorothy said. “Had I not gone, my friend couldn’t go with her date.”
The date went well, both said, but neither one had much idea of what would come of it.
“She was nice,” Bill said. “I didn’t think much what was going to happen at the time.”
Before long, the couple was married. It was a simple affair with a justice of the peace, but that was about par for the time, Dorothy said.
“Back in Texas 70 years ago, there weren’t too many fancy weddings going on,” Dorothy said.
Bill joined the Army in World War II, where he fought in the European theatre. Returning home from combat to find that corporate farming had taken over, the couple headed west to Turlock in 1946, where Bill got involved in chicken production. He worked for Foster Farms for 23 years.
The Wrights raised three children – Gayle Land, of Denair, Eddie Wright, of Groveland, and Deanne Uylak, of Twain Harte – who are now retiring themselves. They have three grandsons and nine great grandchildren, some of who are now off in college.
“It was easier when we raised ours, “Dorothy said. “There weren’t so many distractions.”
The Wrights enjoyed travelling around the country in their motor home, journeying to Yellowstone National Park, Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, and just about every major attraction one can think of. When Bill and Dorothy watch travel programs on television, they more often can say, “We’ve been there.”
“They’ve been a good 70 years, I can put it that way,” Bill said.
Today, Bill still works out in the yard, while Dorothy keeps up the house. They enjoy spending time with their family members, who visit often.
The couple also remains active with the Berkeley Avenue Baptist Church, a church which the Wrights were charter members of many years ago.
“We don’t change much,” Dorothy said. “We stayed with each other and the same church.”
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