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February 9, 2010
- Nederland, Texas - (CableMuse.com) - The war was over and “Johney Came marching home” from the Navy. His only
girl at that time was his clingy little sister, Danita. Home was the little town of Morris, Oklahoma with a population of
about two hundred. There was a movie house where you could go for a dime. It was there he saw the beautiful grey-eyed beauty
for the first time leaving the movie house. The following Monday he and his uncle invited the beauty, Mary, and her sister
to the movies. They had to survive the “mom” test for permission. She said yes, and interpreted that could have
been, ‘On your mark, get set, go’.
The next two years,
Mary claimed to have “chased” Johney as he dated others. Another version of the story is Johney would drive to
Arkansas to see her on weekends when she moved away; sometimes he sat waiting until she returned from a date. They have a
couple of friends to thank for inviting them to make it a “double wedding” spurring the proposal from Johney to
Mary who recalls he said, “You want too?” and she said, “Sure." Sixty-two years later, they are still
chasing each other.
According to Johney
and Mary, doing ”the little things” kept them together .The first thirty years was children and Johney pitching
fast pitch softball; the last thirty since retirement, Johney and Mary meet with retirees
from his work, every day for breakfast and twice on Fridays. They meet at the Nederland, TX, McDonalds and were invited to
the ribbon cutting when it reopened as a “state of the art” McDonalds last fall. Since 1990, they have played
in a ukulele band at church practicing every Thursday and performing at nursing homes and churches.
Having three sons
told Johney and Mary Marrs that it wasn’t always sunshine and roses. They had challenges, most recently with their son
John’s brain cancer, which he is valiantly fighting like a “Marrs”. Mary has had illnesses but astounded
the doctors after she had hip replacement. The physical therapist came for home care, only to find Mary was walking and responded,
“Just fine, thank you very much”. Johney has “debilitating neuropathy” causing him to fall often so
he wears braces on both legs; however, he still drives on long trips and daily tends his many flower and vegetable gardens.
Ike (2008), Johney and Mary were lost from the radar screen while trying to seek shelter several miles away, at a son’s
house. A large tree fell on their home, their town was flooded and all communications went down. One need not have worried
as the two optimistic travelers showed up unharmed eleven days later and eventually were able to return to their home, and
remain there today.
Whether it is when
they order their one breakfast and divide it to share at McDonalds, or when Mary looks at Johney during the singing of “I
will always love you”, and he looks back, cocks his eyebrow and grins as he returns the words; theirs is a true testimony
to the meaning of love, and marriage.
CMN reporter Joyce
Godwin Grubbs traveled from Davenport, Iowa to Nederland, Texas to witness this love affair still has fire. Each morning of
the visit started with an 8 o’clock morning breakfast at McDonalds with the couple’s friends of decades. Thursday
was ukulele practice, and on Friday daily breakfast to the Friday coffee lunch of retirees. In Johney and Mary’s home
they shared pictures, videos, stories and all while making eyes at each other at intervals.
years married, the ukulele serenades replaced the guitar when Johney would play; Mary accompanied him on the piano, and they
sang duets. Johney still eats his daily ice cream and laments he misses Mary’s homemade ice cream.
Mary chided Joyce of Cable Muse Network for bringing up Johney once predicted Elvis Presley was a “flash in the pan.”
Johney and Mary
reach out and touch hands. It’s the little things.