The Last Windrow: Happy to celebrate a 47th wedding anniversary

Looking back to that June 7 date in 1975, it's hard to realize that those years have gone by so fast

John Wetrosky
John Wetrosky (2022)
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Rubik's Cubes, mood rings, the Vietnam War ends, bell bottom pants, "Jaws," 8-track tapes, Margaret Thatcher, postage stamps sold for 10 cents.

What do these things have in common?

They all happened in 1975. What else happened of significance in 1975? My wife married me. That tops the list in my world.

This week my wife and I will be celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary. It's not the 50th, where the couple usually receives a golden trophy, but it's pretty close.

According to American custom there is no real gift that rates highly for a 47th wedding anniversary. Other countries have traditional gifts; not the United States. We are left to our own ideas.


Looking back to that June 7 date in 1975, it's hard to realize that those years have gone by so fast. On our wedding day we were lucky enough to see three of our grandmothers attending. I was managing a fishing tackle shop at the time and some of the guides out of that shop attended.

My wife was working as a social worker and some of her workmates were in the assembled crowd. Both of our parents were there as were our siblings.

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I remember certain details of that day. I especially remember those plastic, platform shoes I wore. They were the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I ever owned. I spied them in the garage sale items in the upstairs of our garage a few weeks ago. They had not deteriorated one bit from the time I wore them at our wedding. Just seeing them evoked pain in my lower extremities.

I also remember a small snafu in our after-wedding plans. We had intended to end up in Duluth that night, but due to unseen circumstances we ended up 30 miles away in Brainerd. But, it didn't really matter.

The "flower power" fad of the late 1960s carried forward to 1975. My wife chose flowery pastel colors for her bridesmaids' dresses. There was a burst of color at the altar. Women wore their hair long at the time and current women's hairstyles remind me of that day.

The years since that wedding day in June 1975 have provided both of us events and happenings that we could only have imagined on that day. We became parents of a wonderful daughter, traveled to places we'd only read about, ran a business together for over 30 years, built a house, fed horses, planted gardens, cut firewood, got to the Grand Ole Opry and visited Anne's house at Green Gables.

One year we climbed the stairs to the Tea House above Lake Louise in Alberta. Certain things like that you should do when you're young enough to do them. A lesson I now appreciate is having done them when my hip was whole and my wife's knees didn't ache.

And along the way, I started writing this column, which is now in its 39th year.


As I stood there with my groomsmen in front of the church, I couldn't have imagined that lay ahead.

So, we'll celebrate our anniversary this week and celebrate lives together lived well and full.

I still remember seeing my wife on her dad's arm at the back of the church waiting for the flower girl to drop the petals on the way to the altar. It was a moment and a memory that I'll never release. June 7, 1975, was a special day for me.

Happy anniversary, Jackie! I love you! This column is my gift to you. (She usually reads it!) I think it is better than any golden trophy I could give you.

See you next time. Okay?

Opinion by John Wetrosky
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