NORMAN — Norman residents J.C. and Leeta Lankford will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary Tuesday.
The couple currently resides at Rivermont Senior Living Center but have resided in Norman for the past 32 years, since J.C’s retirement as inspector in charge of the Kansas City Division of Postal Inspectors.
They were married at Springfield, Ill., on Aug. 28, 1937, by the Rev. A.E. Broning, the great-uncle of the bride.
The romance started at Adrian, Mo., when the couple first met at a high school debate tournament, where J.C. had been asked to act as a judge. They were seated at desks in the old study hall next to each other, and he was more attracted to her than the debaters.
He says later he thought she was the most beautiful and charming girl he had ever seen. She made some kind of remark like, “You must have had some great experiences in speech.” At that point, he exhibited to her his pocket watch chain on which he had attached a number of medals he had won when he was in high school. She seemed to be greatly impressed.
He then asked to walk her home after the event. Her aunt lived only four blocks from the high school, and at that point in 1935, he could not afford a car nor a wife. Nevertheless, the budding romance proceeded from that time forward.
Now, 75 years later, they feel it is time to give thanks for the many years of happiness.