The Garden City Telegram
4/27/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Marriage's strength withstands the test of time

Fifty.

That's a big number when you start adding up the years

That's how many my mother- and father-in-law have been married.

Anita and Lee Hupp celebrated their 50th anniversary recently.

Family and friends gathered to honor these two on such a grand occasion.

When you look back at 50 years, you realize how times have changed and what Lee and Anita have lived through.

When they tied the knot, it was a different world.

Tweeting was what birds did, not a form of social media that linked friends and complete strangers together to complain about politics or share pictures of what they had for breakfast.

Fifty years ago, Elvis Presley was shaking his hips to "Are You Lonely Tonight?"

I don't think my father-in-law shook his.

TWA originated movies on planes, Patsy Cline almost died in a car crash, and a group of brothers and other family members became known as the Beach Boys.

Fifty years ago, if you turned on your television, you didn't watch any housewives fighting and reality wasn't what was on TV, it was your life.

Instead, you watched Wagon Train, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, The Red Skelton Show, Andy Griffith, Candid Camera, My Three Sons, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Mister Ed and Car 54 Where are You?

Fifty years ago, everything you bought was cheaper, but wages were lower.

The average cost of a new house was $12,500.

The average annual income was $5,315.

A gallon of gas cost 27 cents, and the average cost of a new car was $2,850.

A pound of bacon cost 67 cents, and a dozen eggs cost 30 cents.

Diapers became disposable when Pampers hit the market.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the District of Columbia got the right to vote, Americans were worried about the Bays of Pigs, and we had our first involvement in Vietnam.

Some Americans followed the president's suggestion to build fallout shelters.

A lot has happened in 50 years, and some of the above are distant memories or just lessons in history books.

But for Lee and Anita, that was the world around them.

In their own world, they had four daughters who made them grandparents, and they are now great-grandparents.

There were birthday parties and graduations, jobs and retirements.

Now, life for them has become less about working and more about enjoying their time together and making more memories with family and friends.

As much as our world changes, as much as we've adjusted to fast food, faster cars and a more fast-paced life, it's good to know at least one thing has remained consistent.

When I married Lee and Anita's second daughter, Kelly, I quickly learned that this was a family in the truest sense.

Family gatherings weren't just quick hellos and good-byes, they were day-long events that brought everyone together from aunts, uncles and cousins to the occasional stray girlfriend or boyfriend.

This is what makes the family special, and this is a tribute to Lee and Anita.

Fifty years. The world may have changed in that time, but Lee and Anita showed that a good marriage lasts.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.