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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Birdieballs and matrimony

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Joe Sullivan
You might want to squeeze in a practice round this weekend for the First-Ever Sixth Annual Louis J. Lorimier Memorial Downtown Golf Tournament and All-You-Can-Eat Catfish Buffet, which is the following weekend -- 1:30 p.m. June 26, to be exact.

Practice round? Of course you can. Many of you have Birdieballs left over from previous tournaments, all of which help raise money for the Red House Interpretive Center in downtown Cape Girardeau. Just take your 5-iron and a Birdieball to the terraces below the Common Pleas Courthouse and start swinging.

If you have already signed up for the tournament (see the registration forms that appear from time to time in the Southeast Missourian), great. If you haven't, there's still plenty of time.

And don't forget the catfish buffet afterward upstairs at the Port Cape Restaurant. It will be, as usual, fantastic. You don't want to miss this.

When the sun comes up Saturday, my wife and I will look at each other and say, "Forty-six years in the same bed? How did that happen?"

Yes, folks, we will be marking that many years of matrimony, a state we highly recommend for those who love each other and are willing to pledge mutual devotion for a lifetime, come what may.

Our celebrations are low key. They go something like this: I will put a carefully chosen mushy card on the kitchen counter where we eat breakfast. This will be a visual reminder to my wife that our anniversary is on the 18th. Not the 19th. Not any of those other June days. The 18th.

It has been a joke in our family for nearly half a century that my wife, who faithfully remembers the special occasions of others and sends a flurry of special greeting cards throughout the year, frequently misses our wedding anniversary by a day or two.

So much has happened since that Friday morning in a tiny Methodist church across the street from the house where my wife grew up and where her father was Sunday school superintendent for 50 years. We had no material possessions and no bank account. Thankfully, we both had jobs, although my wife's teaching position wouldn't result in a paycheck until the new school year rolled around.

We lived in an attic -- literally -- of a two-story house whose entrance was reached by climbing an outdoor set of steps that, in any other setting, would be called a fire escape. There was no air conditioning in those days, and we sweltered that entire summer. By Christmas we had moved to a garden apartment next to a commercial bread bakery that provided both central heat and the smell of fresh-baked bread around the clock.

Those were the days.

Now we look back and wonder how we did it. We managed. And we still regard those penny-pinching days as some of the best years of our life.

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the

Southeast Missourian.

R. Joe Sullivan
R. Joe Sullivan