Charleston Times Courier, January 1960...
Nancy Andrews, John Swinford are Married.
Miss Nancy Andrews, Charleston, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Andrews of Granite City became the bride of John Swinford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Swinford at 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Rev. H.L. Hayes performed the double ring ceremony at his home. The bride wore a pink brocade princess style street length dress with a white net bandeau. Her corsage was of pink carnations and ivy. Mrs. Sam Swinford, the bride's attendant chose a beige suit with brown accessories. She had a corsage of pink and white carnations. Sam Swinford served his brother as best man. The couple are graduates of Charleston High School. The bride is employed at Covalt's Drug Store and the bridegroom is employed with Dick Shaffer, a building contractor. They have an apartment at 1202 Jackson Street.
On December 31st this year, Mom and Dad will have been married for 50 years. We asked them several months ago to let us know how they wanted to celebrate the occasion and they asked only that a huge party not be planned, but otherwise they would trust us. Don't know what they expected, but I'm certain they didn't expect it in July.
This past Friday with all the grandkids home, we surprised them with a day that none of us will soon forget. Mom is still talking about it, which is exactly what we hoped for! It went something like this...
After much plotting and planning on the best way to initiate the surprise, Cindy, Stacey and I went to Mom and Dad's house (They were told the grandkids were coming so they would both be home.) with a box of donuts, knowing that the coffee would be fresh in the kitchen. We parked around the corner and Cindy and I headed across their front lawn only to find them on the front porch. (Lots of laughing starts about now!) Stacey laid behind (in the neighbor's shrubs) to leave a surprise package on the front steps while we detained Mom and Dad in the kitchen. Shortly, Stacey entered and the fun began. I snuck out of the kitchen to ring the doorbell which prompted Mom to yell, "Come on in!" We had to tell her another little lie to get them to the door where they found a large package on the step with an invitation to a family anniversary celebration that evening. Inside the box was a new dress for Mom and a new silk tie for Dad.
The day continued with a bridal shower luncheon at the country club for Mom with all the girls and Dad was picked up by all the guys for a lunch time "bachelor party" at Buffalo Wild Wings. The "bride" enjoyed a lovely, girly lunch and opened gifts of new pj's, a tablecloth, a vase, and new kitchen essentials of various sorts. Olivia also presented them with a Photo-Opoly board game with photos of our family through the past 50 years. Then the "bridesmaids" whisked Grandma off for hair and nail appointments.
The evening began with a family photo session in Mom and Dad's back yard. Even Roxie got in front of the camera and posed. Dinner followed at 7:00 in Champaign at Jim Gould's Restaurant. We had reserved a private dining room and Kristin had worked her event-planner-magic and transformed it into a wedding reception to be envied by any recent bride. Mom and Dad shared stories of the early days of their marriage. We raised our glasses 14 times as each member of the family toasted the bride and groom. A perfect meal was shared along with wedding cake and laughter, tears and memories and lots and lots of love.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad