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Bill and Elaine Braden's 50th Wedding Anniversary

Planning for two celebrations!!

In 1992, Jay was assigned to Fort Eustis, Virginia. That was about a 3 1/2 hour drive to his parents’ house in Severna Park, Maryland. That was not real close, but close enough so that Jay and Bonnie could visit up there perhaps as much as once a month.

Jay and Bonnie noted that Jay’s parents were married on June 5, 1943, and therefore in June 1993, they would celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. So in perhaps February 1993, Bonnie approached Jay’s mother about Jay and Bonnie throwing his parents, Bill and Elaine, a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Jay’s mother, however, was adamant that she did not want such a celebration.

Okay, no problem.

No problem at all.

And so that is how Bonnie began arranging the SURPRISE 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. Not a small job; especially in doing so from a distance. There were the tasks of creating the invitations, making and mailing the invitation list, arranging food and beverages, booking a band, purchasing supplies, arranging for a cake....

A lot of work, but things were progressing.

And then, on a visit in perhaps April, Jay’s Mom announces that she has changed her mind, and an anniversary celebration would be okay. Oops.

Well, June 5,1993 was on a Saturday, so the first thing that Jay and Bonnie told his parents was that because they had not been planning an anniversary celebration, they had already made arrangements for that Saturday and the best they could do for an anniversary celebration was two weeks from then, on Saturday the 19th. That was acceptable.

So during April and May Bonnie would go out with Jay’s Mom and they would plan for the celebration on the 19th, making arrangements such as food and beverages and invitations, etc. Of course as soon as Bonnie was away from Jay’s Mom, she would cancel all those arrangements because the surprise party was still on for the 5th.

And, yes, the party on the 5th was a big surprise and everyone had a good time.

And we will remember what all it took to plan two 50th Anniversary Parties.

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