The scarcity of cards honoring 75th wedding anniversaries is as much a testament to contemporary society as it is a tribute to Mount Airy’s Chris Mayberry Taylor and Carl James Taylor, who celebrated the event with around 100 friends and family Saturday at Central United Methodist Church.
The two said they were both born in Mount Airy and currently live in the Sherwood Forest area of Winston-Salem. According to family member Cheminne Taylor-Smith, the two were married July 25, 1939. The two have four sons, Todd Taylor, Jerry Taylor, Mike Taylor and Randy Taylor; 13 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren. In addition to local family and friends, family traveled in from areas including Ohio and Utah with the couple’s oldest grandson (who is also named Todd Taylor) flying in from China.
“I have been fortunate. I have no hurts at 96,” said Carl Taylor. “I’m just getting old and a little wobbly.” He explained how he worked from making deliveries for Tilley’s Market on Franklin Street to being a meat cutter for the company and fondly remembers being in charge of the hamburger and sausage counter. Chris Taylor, who turned 95 in September prides herself on recently passing her drivers’ license examination (which will be good for another five years) with no restrictions.
She said the two met on a double date on Halloween. Both were the dates of someone else. She said the two clicked however and “he ended up at my home the next day.”
“Our personalities are so different but it has all just meshed. We talk a lot. When things come up minor or major we handle them. Thank goodness we’ve really never had any of what you’d call big problems, ” said Chris Taylor. “We’ve had an unusually happy marriage. We had problems but nothing that amounted to a hill of beans. I thought things would wind down after the grandchildren but I’m as busy as I’d ever been.”
Chris Taylor said another blessing for the family has been the easy-going nature and how well everyone gets along. She said “everybody has such a good time and she has especially enjoyed the great-grandchildren. She said Mount Airy was chosen as the place for the celebration because of their history there and its location to family and old friends.
“I told them (her children) this had to be casual,” said Chris Taylor. “As long as they come, I guarantee you it will be fun and we will have fun. It’s been a wonderful life.” She said she was also looking forward to visiting her best friend of 55 years, Betty Cooper.
According to Carl Taylor, the two moved with his jobs with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (in California) and later for Spencers (as a salesman for the firm throughout the Rocky Mountain states), so they have “friends scattered everywhere.” He said one thing which has helped his health through the years was he never smoked or “drank anything stronger than a Coke.”
Participant Emory Wallace shook hands with Taylor and talked with him about a barn the two had built years ago which was still standing.
“This (Mount Airy) is where it started,” said grandchild Cheminne Taylor-Smith. “We wanted to celebrate here. Grandma didn’t think it was a big deal and wanted us to just have this is someone’s back yard. I think it hit her when friends from 30 years ago called. Suddenly she was so happy.”
She talked about the differences in her grandparents’ temperaments with Carl being the more laid back, slow to anger one.
“Early on we all learned that my grandmother was not the one to cross,” said Taylor-Smith. “It was because if you disrespected her you got him (Carl) mad. It’s all over when that happens.” She recalled taking her grandmother aside after her first dates with future husband, Matt Smith.
Taylor-Smith said she confided to Chris she thought Smith was going to be the one and her grandmother agreed, saying “Yes he is the one. When you know, you know.” Longevity in marriages also seems to be a common thread for Taylor-Smith as well. She said in addition to Chris and Carl being married for 75 years, she and Matt have been married for 27 years and her mother and father Todd and Anne have been married for 51 years.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-2210 or on twitter at MtAiryNewsDave.