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Seventy-five years and counting

Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm

If not for a snooty shopper at a Richmond Woolworth’s in 1943, Jean and James Harper of Callao might never have met let alone celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last week.

Jean recalled, she had sold a woman a lot of a certain oil cloth from the shop. A more modest lady said she would take some, too. The snooty one then told Jean she’d take it all. “That made me mad,” Jean recalled, and she told the lady she’d go check the store room to see if there was any left up there.

In the store room, Jean called out to whoever was working there. Presently, James appeared and said, “What do you, mean interrupting my homework?” He found the oil cloth for the lady.

Jean was 15. James was 17. He now recalls a popular song of that era, “I met my million dollar baby in the five and ten cents store.” Soon, they ran off to South Carolina where a justice of the peace, Judge D.B. McIntire, married them. He didn’t ask any age questions, James recalled Friday.

Jean’s father “didn’t like the idea (of the pair marrying) so we didn’t tell him.”

For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 10/30/19