Friday, December 23, 2016


                         “…..and they lived happily ever after”

60 years ago I married my sweetheart on December 29, 1956 in the Dayton
Church of the Brethren. We have been celebrating that event this past week a little early and hope that, the Lord willing, we will see that day shortly after Christmas.

Here is the briefest synopsis to put it in perspective. After graduating from high school in 1955 I was accepted by Shenandoah Conservatory at Dayton, Virginia to continue violin and musical studies for a career in music education. I found employment as a baker at the Thomas House and Home 
business a few blocks down from the conservatory. Lib also had work in the bakery after school and then would walk home. Both of us sang in the church choir. Her older sister Evelyn was married to a cousin of mine, a fact not realized by me at the time. 

During the Fall of my Freshman year I asked her if I might walk her home after choir during one of our work times at the bakery. She said her brother in law, Gene Erbaugh usually drove her home. On learning  that I had asked for the walk home  her Mother   told her to return to the bakery and “ tell Bill Kinzie he may walk you home!  Here is some money to buy donuts”. After choir we walked and talked on our way   to her home. And that is how it all began.

About a year later we were engaged and I bought her an engagement ring. Slowly plans were made to plan a marriage to occur the last of December. 
There were adult friends and advisors who counselled against it and one of my single Conservatory professors was aghast when he realized that I was wearing a wedding ring upon returning from Christmas break. 

So here we are 60 years later! What an interesting journey it has been. Yes, there were real challenges to be met. We were fortunate enough to find gainful employment to help get me through college. We also lived within our means and didn’t buy just because our older friends or family could. A few years later her brother and sister in law let us live in a part of the old homeplace while I earned my MA degree at what is now Madison University. Later we moved to Roanoke where I began my career as a Strings teacher in the city schools and we started our family. 

This past Sunday our granddaughter Rachel White drove us to Staunton, Virginia to the Mill Street Grill where we joined our daughter Cathy and her son Devin and older daughter Lisa White, her husband Mark and Rachel’s two brothers Dan and Sam White. There we enjoyed a celebratory family lunch. Jeff, Cathy’s husband was missing because of work obligations. 

Next we went to a Methodist Church a few blocks up the street to attend my youngest sister’s (Mary Inge) youngest daughter’s ( Taylor Inge) wedding. Then we celebrated a quick Christmas “open packages” in the fellowship hall as the White family would be driving back to Wilmington after the reception. 

Then we went to Dayton to pose in front of  Lib’s homeplace now owned by a Mennonite family and next to the Dayton Church of the Brethren to pose at the door we exited the evening we were officially man and wife. 

Finally Rachel drove us to Madison University where the young couple’s reception was and enjoyed more family and food as we celebrated their first few hours together as a married couple. Then Rachel drove us back to Midlothian and stayed the night before driving to North Carolina.

Each pair’s coupling  is a dice toss of the Universe. My father and mother married during the Great Depression and  seven years later went to India as church missionaries. My life was hugely different and I still reap the rewards of that couple’s early adventure.  Lib and I have seen marriages where they had it all crash and burn a few years later. Luck and perseverence surely are a part of the mix as is determination to make it work.

Bill & Lib 60th Anniversary

Cake close up

Cathy Miles, Lisa White, Lib Kinzie-Bill Kinzie, Mark White, Devin Miles, Rachel White, Dan White, Sam White, Jeff Miles Missing

Dan White, Devin Miles at present unwrap

Lib Kinzie (Grandmother) Rachel White  Granddaughter

It began here 60  years ago!

Lib and oldest daughter Lisa White in front of Lib's ancestral home in Dayton, Virginia.

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