Thursday, December 27, 2018

A 50th Anniversary Celebration, December 27, 2018

The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
~Helen Keller

Today Cindy and I are celebrating 50 years of marriage! We were married on a Friday evening, two days after Christmas in 1968 with a couple hundred people in attendance. We chose the La Mesa Church of Christ as the site for the event. It was a new church building and very accessible to all those who would be attending. At the time I was a student at Abilene Christian and had come home for the Christmas Holidays to get married. That fall Cindy had taken a break from her college education to stay home and prepare for the wedding. We were both 20 years old and ready to face the world together.

Our Wedding Party, December 27, 1968
The La Mesa Church of Christ
The Wedding Party. The wedding party included two of my siblings, my brother Gary and sister Linda, as well as Cindy's brother Joe Paul and two of her cousins, Gloria Weston and Malacha Whitmore. Also standing on the chancel with us were friends Pam Henderson, Connie Cleland, Dan Frost and Jim and Tim Deveny. Also in attendance were an assortment of Harris and Shepard friends and family, including many church friends who meant so much to us. Leading the service was Edwin Kilpatrick, the minister of the Linda Vista Church of Christ where my family attended for many years. Edwin was my second cousin and a very good friend and mentor. 

Cutting the Cake, Dec 27, 1968
Our First Home. After the wedding we enjoyed a simple punch and cake reception in the church basement. When the church festivities were concluded we made our getaway and drove to Laguna Beach in Orange County where we honeymooned for a few days. We took in such well known sites as the world famous Knotts Berry Farm (woo-hoo!). After the first of the year we made our way back to Abilene Christian to attend college. Our first home was in one of the "Witts Apartments" across the street from the school. We lived there for the next 18 months until I graduated from ACU and we moved back to California in 1970.

On the occasion of this anniversary it is a moment to remember the various places we have lived, the people who have been our friends, and the experiences that have made us who we are today. The journey has taken us from the hectic pace of life in the Greater LA area, to the San Francisco Peninsula, to the serenity of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and finally back to San Diego where it all began for us. The experiences have been many and varied and the lessons have taught us much.

Cindy and me in front of the Waiola Church, 
Lahaina, Hawaii, Dec. 27, 2018
The Love That Brought Us Together. Today we are thrilled to be retired and enjoying life as much as ever. It is a rich blessing to be living close to our son Nathan and his children Preslea, Logan and William, and to share life with them. We look forward to whatever is yet to be. We know that the love that brought us together in the first place will carry us through whatever the future holds. Thanks to all of you who have shared your lives with us in so many meaningful ways over the years.

This week we are celebrating our 50th anniversary with our family on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Among the activities of this week was a 50th Anniversary Renewal Service at the Waiola Church in Lahaina that occurred earlier today. Presiding was Rev. Anela Rosa, minister of the Church. It was a sacred event, the perfect complement to all the activities of this holiday week.

This third picture was taken by our son Nathan in front of the Church where we had the renewal service earlier this evening. Down in front of us are our three grandchildren: Logan on the left, William on the right, and, barely visible behind William, is Preslea in a red dress with yellow flowers in her hair.
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Steve Shepard

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