When Mugsy first met Penny, she didn’t have the best first impression of this chubby kindergartner. Mugsy was taught to follow rules and listen to her elders, especially her teachers, so when Penny wouldn’t stop talking during nap time, she knew he was a troublemaker.
Luckily, Mugsy was able to look past Penny’s rebellious ways, and they quickly became friends. The two eventually became neighbors and constantly played outside together. Mugsy explained that she became one of the gang with the neighborhood boys.
“I had seven sisters and two brothers, so I was tired of all the girl stuff. I liked going outside and playing with the guys. We would swim, sail and go fishing. It was everything that I loved to do; I loved hanging out with them, and they took me under their wing. Penny was like an older brother to me, obnoxious at times, but a big brother nonetheless.”
When these two best friends weren’t braving the outdoors, they were dancing that the local teen club. Their life together was simple, but it was perfect.
Their friendship didn’t progress into anything further until the two left for college. Distance truly did make the heart grow fonder. Penny explained that although one of Mugsy’s previous boyfriend’s nudged him away, he ultimately won her over.
“Mugsy had dated an Olympic swimmer from Oklahoma. She would wear his ring and his jacket. Luckily, that didn’t last. I always knew she was the girl for me. I was in my first year of college, and she was in her first year of nursing school. We didn’t have much money back then, so I would hitchhike up to see her every six weeks. Once I would get into town, I would go to the Red Cross and donate a pint of blood. They would give me $25, and we would use that for our fun-filled weekend. We would get dinner, go to a movie and go dancing. It was such good, wholesome fun. I would come back and do the whole thing again six weeks later. You could only give blood every six weeks.”
When Mugsy graduated from nursing school, the couple got married. In the 1950s, being a woman in the workplace was frowned upon, but Mugsy had accomplished too much to stay at home.
“When I graduated, I knew I was going to work. I had worked too hard. I didn’t care what other people thought. I knew my destiny was to save lives. Penny supported my decision and did everything he could to make sure I would be successful in my career. He was a salesman, and if I had to work a night shift, he would be sure to get his work done during the day. We were a pretty progressive family for the time. Penny helped clean, wash clothes and change diapers. He was a modern day dad back then.”
After 60 years of marriage, this couple is even more in love than they were when they first met in kindergarten. They raised a beautiful family and continue to rely on one another for love and support. They are parents, grandparents, best friends and soulmates.
Penny explained that even after decades together, they have the same love that was formed so many years ago.
“I’m an older fella, so I have to use the potty more than younger people. If we’re in bed and I get up to go to the bathroom, I’ll look over at that little sleeping beauty and know just how lucky I am. It’s just wonderful. If you can marry your best friend, then you’re halfway there. And if you have the faith that we do, then you’ll one day see each other in heaven. Amen.”
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