My wife and I celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on Saturday at the Pittsburg Senior Center. Our actual anniversary was on August 31st. We choose to celebrate it on Saturday, September 1st to get the venue for the party. Family, friends were in attendance on a holiday weekend. Relatives from our hometown, friends from near and far made it even more of an extraordinary celebration.
Our son, Richie “Tycoon” Hampton acted as the Master of Ceremony. He also performed his releases, “Family,” and “Ain’t Goin Nowhere.”
The “Called-2-Praise” Dancers performed to the Fantasia & Tye Tribbett collaboration of “I Made It.” They did an encore dance to “Your Spirit” by Tasha Cobbs Leonard. All were excellent at their craft.
Our Guest brought gifts, cards, although please believe me when I say, we were not expecting that type of support. Maybe we were just naïve in thinking people would not show their support with beautiful gifts. To us it was about sharing a special milestone in our lives with some of the people we treasure as friends and family. There were those who could not be there for a multitude of reasons and was kind enough to let us know. Just know that by being invited, Sandra and I consider you to be an essential part of our walk of life.
All in attendance will get a heartfelt “Thank You” package via the US mail or personally delivered to you. We will add pictures of the event, and a personal note of our gratitude. Please be patient for that. Again, it was so amazing to look out over the audience and see people who we have met at one time or another and try to keep as friends in our lives. It took us a while to learn to associate with individuals who share common goals and beliefs yet remain special in their own way. For the most part, they and we are people who shy away from the drama of living but hone in on the joy along with rewards that God has planned for us. Just know that friends and family in that hall plus some that were not in attendance have a special place reserved in our hearts. After all, you are real people.
Some may wonder how do you end up staying together for so long much less fifty years? One answer is we never thought about it with each passing year. There was never a shortage of love and respect from either one of us. I would say that is one of the major components that helped us through the trying times. The big one for me is communication between the two of us.
We started out as friends, lovers and running buddies. I thought I knew all about life and she let me feel so. No doubt I have good common sense but not as much as I might think I have at times. She challenged me at every turn which kept me on my toes. I was and still are under enormous pressure not to fail or disappoint her. She amazed me with her patience with family, people, and events. A trait that I sometimes struggle with today. We always had each other best interest at heart, no matter the situation.
A Leo man and Aries woman, two fiery combatable yet compatible signs. Some had reservations about us staying together for a week much less than a year. And here we have surpassed fifty years? Wow! What a trip. In short, we don’t really know how we did it. We do know that we come from families that had histories of staying together through thick and thin. I do remember telling her in the very beginning. She didn’t marry any member of my family. Nor did I marry any member of hers. It was going to me and her from then on out, no matter what anybody thought or how they would advise either of us. Having said that our parents and many others thought we were a cute couple. They cheered for a successful long union. Those who have passed would be proud.
I should add we made up our mind to not have a big wedding. One reason is that we didn’t have big money. Besides, we didn’t think a big wedding was necessary at the time. We made an appointment to be at City Hall on a specific date and time. We got married in front of a justice of the peace. One of my best friends, Jr. Ballentine was there as a witness. That morning of August 31, 1968, we walked down to City Hall as neither of us had a car. After the short but tender ceremony, we walked eight or nine blocks to a tavern. Where I got into a pool game. Eventually, my new wife got tired of waiting for me. She walked back to her mothers’ house while Jr and I stayed at the tavern shooting pool. We hooked up again later that evening.
Now let me explain how it was with my buddies and me back in the day. There were no traditions that we hip folk followed at the time. If one were to traditionally zig, just to be different, we would zag. Our generation felt the old people had screwed up society so bad, the only option we had was to tear it up and rebuild it. So, to ensure your understanding of the point, the type of tradition didn’t matter. We realized we were following our parent’s example of getting married when they were young. Funny how some of life’s historical patterns repeats itself.
Our love and appreciation to Gloria Jones (Event Planner) along with her crew in providing logistical support for the entire affair. Thanks to the attendees love and support shown…
Peace & Blessing…stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,
Codis Hampton II
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We are in a continuing effort to publicize my book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. It’s based upon the life of my Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of my latest and fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships are questioned to the core. Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions
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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment