Golden couples celebrate anniversaries at Two Lakes Camping Area in Oxford.

OXFORD – Dreary, rainy weather Saturday gave way to blue skies and sunshine by late afternoon, just in time for one big love-in a mile deep into the woods at Two Lakes Camping Area off Route 26.

Six couples who each celebrated or will have their golden wedding anniversaries this year, another that enjoyed their 63rd year together, a newlywed couple who found each other again after a 17-year hiatus, and two other couples, all got together under one roof and gave thanks to a combined 413-plus years of marriage.

Wally and Red Wright of Sabattus, the 63-year wedded couple, were dubbed king and queen of the campground earlier this year. Both sported glitzy, gold-plated plastic genuine-imitation jeweled crowns while seated at 4:30 p.m. for a group portrait with the other couples being honored.

Their recipe for love and married bliss – negotiation and compromise.

“You have to bend a little,” Red Wright said with a wry smile while standing beside hubby.

“You have to work together,” Wally added.

The couple met at a dance in 1942 and married on June 22, 1944. They’ve also summered at Two Lakes for about 30 years.

“What I say goes,” Doris Henry of Berlin, N.H., said of the secret behind she and her husband, Reney’s life together. They were married on July 6, 1957. “We come camping here so he can relax. He’s a workaholic. Taking it one day at a time is our secret.”

They met on a roller skating rink.

“He went out with me on a bet that he couldn’t take me out, and that was it. He said he was from a family of 24, and they were all after him to marry me,” Doris Henry said.

“Our secret is learning to keep your mouth quiet when you should, and having a sense of humor,” Marion York said. She and hubby Lloyd, a retired Army National Guardsman, were married on Feb. 8, 1948. They’ve camped at Two Lakes for the past 14 years and met through her sister when Marion was 15 years old.

Working together is the strategy of Frank and Nancy Gallagher of Portland, who wed on March 4, 1957.

“To me, a working relationship doesn’t stop,” Frank Gallagher said. “After 50 years, we still have arguments, but we work together.”

He’s a retired Marine, she’s a nurse. They met at a dance in high school and danced to “Unchained Melody,” a song that many of Saturday’s couples said had significance in their marriages. The Gallaghers have been regulars at Two Lakes for 20 years.

“You’ve got to appreciate each other,” Nancy Gallagher said. “We had to wait three years to get married. We couldn’t get married, because I was in nursing school at Mercy Hospital, and, so, he went to boot camp, and we got married afterward.”

“Togetherness, tolerance and love,” Mike Smith said of he and wife Jeanette’s secret to marriage fidelity. The couple from Manning, S.C., wed on Nov. 16, 1957, after being introduced to each other a year earlier by Mike’s shipmate, who was dating Jeanette’s girlfriend.

“We’re the first ones on both sides of our families to make 50 years, and she’s the first girl I ever went out with, and I married her,” Sonny Beaudoin of Lewiston said of wife Pauline. They wed June 22, 1957.

“So many of them have based their marriages on laughter and faith,” celebration organizer and sleuth Judy Quarton said.

It was Quarton who, this year, uncovered the campground’s oddity of marriage longevity amongst a yearly population of 64 seasonal campers.

“It was here all this time, we just didn’t realize it,” campground owner Bob Hunt said, watching about 100 people devour meat from six turkeys and lots of vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce, fudge and dessert. Married 35 years, Hunt and his wife Sandi, who have owned the campground for six years, close out their season with a Thanksgiving dinner.

“This is a party night anyways, but it’s a good thing to celebrate in this day and age,” Quarton said.

“I think it’s wonderful, celebrating people who have been married this long,” Cheryl Monat of Lisbon Falls said. She and her husband Paul have only been married a mere 38 years, but this is their ninth year camping at Two Lakes, which is named for Whitney and Hogan ponds.

“We’re not the normal. We’re kind of an oddity. I can’t wait until I hit my 50th,” Cheryl Monat said.

Lovebirds

Two Lakes Camping Area seasonal camping couples honored Saturday for marriage longevity, as well as two newlyweds, were:

Wally and Red Wright of Sabattus, married June 22, 1944

Lloyd and Marion York of Scarborough, married Feb. 8, 1948

Frank and Nancy Gallagher of Portland, married March 4, 1957

Pauline and Sonny Beaudoin of Lewiston, wed June 22, 1957

Doris and Reney Henry of Berlin, N.H., wed July 6, 1957

Dick and Barbara Varney of Norway, wed Aug. 3, 1957

Jean and Jan Tardiff of Topsham, married Oct. 11, 1957

Mike and Jeanette Smith of Manning, S.C., wed Nov. 16, 1957

Mike and Linda Clark of Poland, wed July 21, 2007

Charlie and Angie Jutras of Sabattus, married Sept. 8, 2007


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