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Wednesday, June 2, 2010
53 Years Ago Today
Lenoir City, Tennessee - June 2, 1957 - I stood as an 18 year old young man fresh out of boot-camp, trembling inside and standing beside my dream girl and before the preacher! Looking back, I realize I was in a state of mild shock, transfixed, hardly hearing the preacher's words and hoarsely croaking out the words "I Do" at the appropriate moment. Thoughts of "tonight" flying through my head at break-neck speed...I kept trying to focus on the events going on around me on a day that changed my life forever. In a few moments (seemed like hours) all of the ceremony, picture taking, tearful goodbyes from siblings and parents were over and at last we were in the '56 Studebaker (borrowed from Dad) and on our way out of town with several cars following - horns honking, drivers and passengers and waving and shouting, pretending to attempt cutting us off, as the shoes, and cans they had tied to the rear of the car bounced noisily along the road! Somehow - I eluded them all within the first two miles and we drove speedily to the motel owned by some church members where Dad pastored at Ooltewah, Tennessee for our first night together as man and wife! We were so in love. The air in the room was electric. I could hardly contain myself.
Fifty three years later - this morning I went to Chik-fil-A to get two breakfast burritos. Upon returning home I had put the food on the table and sat down to eat. Frances passed my chair and leaned over to give me a kiss on the lips - and the same fire was there in a flash. (Well, the intensity was not as high, but it was the same un-mistakable fire.) I love this woman so much! Thank you God for a wonderful wife. My children and grand-children sometimes get embarrassed at our kissing and hugging - but I'm so thankful for the feelings we have between us. Someone said, "Love is not a feeling". And another said, "Love is what you do...Not what you feel." I agree with those statements - but those moments of ecstasy are also a very important part of what has kept us together.
As you can tell from the pictures, the wedding was performed outside. This was done in front of the living room window of Frances' sister's home on B Street, Lenoir City, TN. My beautiful bride had walked across the street from sister Margaret's home (on B Street) and we stood outside for the ceremony to be performed by Rev. T.R. Morse, our pastor.
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.