Friday, March 30, 2007

The Way Life Should Be

Maine Couple To Celebrate their 80th Anniversary

Kathleen Tarbell "fell head over my stomach" for her husband Waldo when they met at a dance. They married in 1927, during Calvin Coolidge's presidency. This weekend, they'll celebrate their 80th anniversary.

Waldo is 101 and Kathleen will turn 100 in June. The anniversary party will be Saturday afternoon at Oceanview Nursing Home, where the couple shares a large room.

Kathleen, a native of Pembroke, moved to Waldo's hometown of Meddybemps after they married. Two years later, they moved to Pembroke, where their two children, Helen Brown and Elliot Tarbell, were born.

Waldo and Kathleen lived in their home in Pembroke until a few weeks ago.

"I had to go to the hospital to have some X-rays taken. My back was killing me," Kathleen told the Bangor Daily News. After she was hospitalized, Waldo was moved to the nursing home and she later joined him.

For 37 years, Waldo worked for Maine Central Railroad, at a starting wage of 37 cents an hour. After their children were raised, Kathleen worked for 32 years as a "herring choker and wrapper" at sardine factories.

"Sometimes it'd be 10 o'clock at night before we'd get done. We'd go into work at eight in the morning. By the time we got home and got turned over in bed it was time to get up again," she recalled.

Kathleen has been a Democrat her entire adult life. Waldo, originally a Republican, turned Democrat. "She converted me," he said.

They remain up to speed on current events. Kathleen reads the newspaper every day, and she thinks the war in Iraq is "scandalous."

"Somebody ought to take Bush and wring his neck, and I might be the one to do it," she said with a sparkle in her eye.

Aye-uh. The way life should be. Delightfully feisty folks livin' a plain long time in places like Meddybemps.


Margaret Evans Porter said...

Love it! So glad you shared their wonderful story.

Jenn said...

What a happy tale. Thanks for sharing it.