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On June 12, 1943, my friends Milford and Clara Ann Wyss tied the knot and started down the road of life. After 70 years, they are still sweethearts and treasure each and every day they are together.
As many already know, Milford’s storytelling is one of the things that got me started writing my “If Postcards Could Talk” articles.
Now it’s my turn to tell a story about Milford, in honor of their 70th wedding anniversary. It’s the story about Milford and Clara Ann’s “sparking” days. For those of you that have never heard it before, “sparking” is an old time term for dating.
A few years ago I was riding with Milford as he was working a job for the Ray County Planning and Zoning and we just happened to be near a lake that is now called Camp Doniphan.
We took a drive around the lake as Milford told about his days at the lake while “sparking.” It all started the “Summer of ‘42” when Milford and Clara were counselors at a church camp east of Excelsior Springs. There is a story about a boat ride by the moonlight on the camp’s lake. Milford’s face lights up every time he tells this story.
Another one of my favorite Milford stories was from the following year when he was flying with the Army Air Corps in Springfield. This branch of the Army was around before the U.S. Air Force was created in 1947.
To earn his cross country course certification, Milford had to make a solo flight from Springfield to Rolla, then on to St Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Ft Scott, Kan. and then back to Springfield. He had $25 to spend on fuel, but the hard part was staying on your course by using the resources available.
There are some very exciting tales about this journey, but my favorite part is when he arrived in Kansas City around dusk. Milford got to spend some time with his sweetheart, Clara Ann.
Since sparking was more fun than flying, the next three days Milford sent a telegram to his boss in Springfield that said, “Bad Weather – Will Try Tomorrow.”
When Milford finally arrived in Springfield, they asked how his girlfriend in Kansas City was doing because they had been checking the weather in Kansas City, too.
I always wondered why people get married in June. I found an article that said it was to honor Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.
Another story said it goes back to the 15th Century when June was chosen because it was the month of their “annual bath.”
After many years of researching my family history, I started checking is see what day of the week my ancestors got married.
I found that most of them got married on weekdays and I wondered why. Tuesdays and Thursdays were the top picks, followed by Wednesday weddings.
Getting married on a Saturday was considered unlucky, and I found a poem that told the rest of the story. “Marry on Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health, Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses and Saturday for no luck at all.”
I was never one of those girls that dreamed about her wedding day while growing up, but I was a June bride twice. My first wedding was on Thursday, June 8 because the Royals were playing in Kansas City on Friday night.
My second wedding was on Saturday, June 14 because it was “Flag Day.” If I ever get married again, I think I will pass on the “June bride” thing and get married on a “Wednesday the best day of all.”
If you would like to wish my friends Clara and Milford “Happy Anniversary,” you can send them a card to their daughter Janet’s house and she will make sure they get it. Her address is 300 S. Camden St. in Richmond.