Our dear friend Robin reached out by text last night: “I’m reading ‘Monuments Men,’ about the search for works of art looted by the Nazis, and what should pop up in the map at the beginning but Wiesbaden, a town which, but for you, I would never have heard of. Whaddya know?” What a nice thought for her to share on the eve of a very important day!

Wiesbaden Altes Rathaus

The lovely old building is the Rathaus in Wiesbaden, where — 56 years ago today — Donna and I were married.

927_38373867345_6145_nWe took our vows in a civil ceremony conducted by the German equivalent of a city clerk, my parents and three of my sisters as witnesses. When we emerged from the building, Donna still holding her flowers, three schoolboys walking by stopped and sang us a wedding toast, almost as if staged for a Hallmark movie but purely serendipitous. That night, my mom and dad took us to the Officers’ Club — a grand old hotel seized by the Americans at the end of the war and renamed the Von Steuben — for chauteaubriand.

Two children, two grandchildren, three college degrees, one hedgehog, six dogs, five cats, two parrots and a macaw, thirteen domiciles (four of them overseas), a military career, several civilian jobs, and two Medicare cards later, here we still are.

Happy anniversary, Donna!

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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