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BRIDGES: Special anniversary for 2 special people
Chris Bridges
Chris Bridges

The year was 1964 and it goes without saying our world was a very different place.

Our country was still reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The mere name “Russia” caused great fear for our political and military leaders and especially for our country’s citizens.

The streets weren’t as crowded as they are now and a dollar certainly went a great further. Of course, it was also tougher to earn.

Another notable occurrence in the year 1964 (on Feb. 14 to be exact) was when Paul Bridges married Melba Bowden. It would be several years before their first-born son, the one writing the words you are reading, was born. Four years later their second son was born.

My parents will celebrate 58 years in a few days. That is an accomplishment only a few will reach. Almost six decades is notable for any marriage, for anything really.

Stability is a characteristic most of us desire. Longevity certainly is we long for but often fail to achieve.

For me, having a stable family environment has been one of my biggest assets. My parents still live in the house I grew up in. The memories are there every time I walk in. They speak to me to this day.

My brother and I were fortunate growing up. We got 100% of what we needed and 99% of what we wanted.

I don’t have to look back on my childhood in a negative way. I had a support system which was as solid and sturdy as a brick foundation. That system remains in place today, more than 50 years after I was born.

My parents encouraged both of their children to always give their best in whatever they tried. They didn’t expect us to be the best, simply to give everything we had.

They were always there to support us. My father coached his sons in recreation baseball. It wasn’t to make us the star of the team. Rather it was to be there to support us.

When my brother and I reached high school, my parents were always in the stands for our basketball games. They often didn’t to see us enter the game until the final seconds but they were always there whether the contest was at home or a couple of hours away.

When I went off to college my mom would send hand-written letters each week. This was in 1989 when people didn’t carry their phone in their pocket or fire off an email. I made calls home on a pay phone in my dorm and eagerly checked my college post office box each day.

Football was an enjoyment my father passed on to his sons. I went to my first college game in 1979. The number of high school games we went to is beyond my memory’s reach.

My parents are well known and respected in Monticello. My father is a regular at the Coffee Club each morning at a local eatery. He makes a regular trip on Wednesday evenings to buy the local newspaper. That tradition dates back decades and I’m sure it influenced me in terms of becoming a writer.

Both have been enjoying retirement for several years now. My father enjoys watching the deer each evening at his farm. He catches numerous football games on television. My mother enjoys the numerous plants and trees at our home. Their two cats keep them on their toes.

Much has changed since 1964 but thankfully some things do remain the same as always.

Chris Bridges is sports editor for The Walton Tribune.