Did I mention it was Proclamation Season? It’s all a mix of the usual, but every now and then something a little different comes along, something that makes you feel a little better than you may have before, something that reaffirms belief in love, magic, and all those mushy things that we sometimes like to scorn. This is perhaps my favorite proclamation to date…
This particular one was presented to Mr. & Mrs. Biggs for their 70th anniversary. Dan Biggs was a young military man, already signed up for World War II and stationed in Texas, a long way from his home in New York where he left his beloved Cele behind. When they were apart, they spent a lot of time listening to their favorite song, Sentimental Journey. Cele wanted to come to Texas, and was working for bus fare money. Her parents cared a great deal about the young couple, and gave her the bus fare as a Christmas gift. She boarded a bus to meet her beloved and get married.
Cele arrived in December in a bitter cold winter. That can sometimes happen in this unpredictable climate. Dick and Cele were married, and new friends, couples who had also come from other places,“stood up” for them at the service. They rented a cottage in a residential neighborhood in Wichita Falls, and cozy as it was, there was no refrigerator, so they put little stashes of food outside in the snow. They stayed here until Dan was sent off to war, and was later blessed with a safe return to his lovely Cele and the beginnings of a new family. The proclamation reads as follows:
Dan and Cele Biggs are now celebrating their 70th Anniversary,
celebrating long and happy lives, the gift of a wonderful family, and a journey together that began in a honeymoon cottage in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1943; and,
Whereas, the Sentimental Journey unfolded when Cele took a
bus ride from Rochester, New York to join her beloved, Dan,
who was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base where he proudly
served his country by attending aircraft and mechanics school;
Whereas, sometimes the best Christmas gift can be bus fare for
an important journey in the middle of winter to make a life
commitment, share it with good friends, and to also discover
amidst a world of rationing shoes, canned meat, and other war
necessities, that love was still in plentiful supply; and,
Whereas, as time passes, it is the simple things that are most
remembered, like a special day, seventy years ago in a small
honeymoon cottage with no refrigerator and snow on the
ground, and the promise of a future together.
Now therefore, I, hereby proclaim December 22, 2013, as
Mr. & Mrs. Biggs Day
in Wichita Falls, and I urge all citizens to applaud the Biggs,
and to celebrate with them this hallmark anniversary and to
also share in this Sentimental Journey as a memorable starting
point for a young couple seventy years ago.