HOLLYWOOD, S.C. (WCBD) – A couple from Hollywood, South Carolina will celebrate 75 years of marriage this year. The special couple, both aged 96, still love, laugh, and sing their way through a lifelong marriage.
The price of gas was .23 a gallon 75 years ago. Jackie Robinson took to the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play in Major League Baseball – but Robinson was not the only one making moves.
Leroy Morrison was working on a home run of his own and focused on a different diamond.
“We went to a wedding one day. A friend had a wedding across the street. I see a girl, and she was dressed so pretty. I said I’m going to carry one of those girls home tonight, two sisters. I said one of y’all gotta go home with me,” he recalled.
“I said this is the girl, I’m gonna marry,” said Mr. Morrison. A feat that took nine months, and the ball was clearly in Ms. Wilhelmina’s court.
“I tell her she’s the one. She looked at me and she said, I don’t love you,” he remembered.
“I used to didn’t like him because he wore suspenders hanging behind him, untidy on him. I just didn’t like him, he wasn’t sharp enough for me. I was sharp. I had a wide-rim hat. I was sharp. I knew I was sharp,” said Mrs. Morrison.
Love triumphed over fashion woes, and on June 12, 1947, Leroy Morrison and Wilhelmina Roach became husband and wife.
“Marriage license was $5.00,” said Mr. Morrison. “My wedding dress cost me $16. I got off of King Street,” added Mrs. Morrison.
Both are now 96 years old with ten children and a long lineage that follows.
The Morrisons say the secret to a happy marriage for them: is faith, forgiveness, compromise, patience, and protecting peace.
“The secret is it’s just like a rubber band. You take the rubber band, the more you stretch it, the more it gives. Don’t stretch it too much, and it stays together,” said Mr. Morrison.
“I always tell people take it, whatever stress comes on, you have to take it to make it, and that’s the only way you can make it,” said Mrs. Morrison. “I didn’t have all good days, but I took the bad days and the good days the same, give and take. He is forgiving, and I was forgiving with him also, that’s what kept us together.”
They also say good meals helped as well. “She’s a good cook. She cooked the meals and baked the pies,” said Mr. Morrison.
Mr. Morrison, a retired shoe repairman and barber, and Mrs. Morrison a stay-at-home mom remain inseparable. “Never spent one night away. If he goes outside, and I don’t see him for five or ten minutes, I’m looking for him,” Mrs. Morrison said.
The Morrisons are considered community champions because they dedicated their lives to helping others, and often hosted neighborhood events to feed their Hollywood community.
Both now have health challenges and have 24-hour care from family members, but they continue to give back in whatever way they can.
Their message to young couples starting out: “I would tell them; every day is not going to be Sunday. Every day is not going to be good. Some days will be bad, but I think most of my days are good days, and go to church treat everybody right, all those people who treat you wrong, love them anyhow,” said Mr. Morrison.
After 75 years of marriage, Mrs. Morrison still sings her song of love for her groom mixed with a kiss, but with notes that render a cautionary tale.
“I love you, Roy. You better not let me catch you walking down lover’s lane with anyone else but me, because I love you. I love you. I love you, Roy,” she sang.
The family held a big celebration to mark the three-quarters of a century milestone in August.
Together, they have ten children, twenty-four grandchildren, sixty-five great-grands, twelve great great grands, and five bonus adopted children.
Happy 75th Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Morrison!