FROM READERS: John Hall shares Images from a 52nd wedding anniversary

Monday, October 22, 2012 | 4:18 p.m. CDT
Missourian reader John Hall presented his wife with a blooming cactus.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

He sent us this account of his wedding anniversary on Saturday.

Six years ago, my mother came to live with us, and my wife purchased a very small Christmas cactus for her. If my mother ever saw it, she forgot about it very quickly. After a short time with us, Mother had to be admitted to a nursing home, and we looked after the cactus. Finally, last summer, my wife told me to get rid of it.

As a person who hates to kill any plant, I took it outside and placed it in the hosta patch. I expected it to die, but I decided to let it do it on its on terms. One of the benefits of a dry summer, the cactus didn't drown. At the first sign of frost, I brought it inside and placed it under the lighting system that is used in starting tomato plants each year.

I noticed that in the next couple of weeks the buds were filling out on that plant like never before. There were well in excess of a hundred so I kept my eye on the plant.

Last week I brought the plant up from the basement, and much to the surprise of my wife it was filled with blooms. She said we couldn't call it a Christmas cactus; it was too early for Thanksgiving, but since it was almost Halloween we could call it the cactus for that day. Ever the person who thinks quickly on his feet, or better said, "My backside," I suggested we call it "The Anniversary Cactus."

Fifty-two short years ago, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president of the United States, gasoline was less than twenty-five cents a gallon and Yours truly was 50 pounds lighter than he is as he writes this narrative and prepares to share these photos. At that time I owned a six cylinder, two door 1959 Edsel Ranger.

On this date, in 1960, I loaded up the vehicle and drove from Bethany, Okla., to Carthage, Mo., and changed the name of Noel Anne Wallace to Noel Anne Hall. Oh yes, she made the trip with me. And, she's been with me ever since. Poor lady.

Fast forward 52 years, and this morning we arose at 3 a.m because one of the English cockers was suffering with an ear ache that needed attention.

The cocker, pictured above, didn't have an ear ache but was up since he couldn't sleep.

After a few hours of darkness, I heard my wife exclaim that the sky was ablaze, so I looked out and saw the above image. The blazing sky didn't last that long.

So, in a nutshell, that's the highlight so far for this wedding anniversary. I had an early breakfast with my grandson and his wife, and my daughter presented my wife and I with an anniversary card with a gift token to eat at a "fine" restaurant this evening. Turn the dial back 52 years. My wife and I drove from Carthage, Mo., to the resort at Ginger Blue (no longer there) just north of the quaint town of Noel, Mo. We stopped for our first meal at a drive-in in Neosho, Mo., and purchased a hamburger. That's right "a" hamburger. I had eaten supper before the wedding at my mother's house, but my bride to be was too nervous and waited until after the ceremony for her first meal as a married person.

If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor is Joy Mayer.

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