Newspaper Archive of
The Sundance Times
Sundance, Wyoming
December 13, 2001     The Sundance Times
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December 13, 2001

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. Thursday, December 13, 2001 "'WHERE THE KID GOT IllS NA~TIE" The Sundance ~tmes i , / ' LINDA JOHNSON and Elizabeth Whalen, A1- celebrated their sixtieth anniversary Sunday, Dec. during an open house held at .' Moose Lodge in Belle Fourche, observance was hosted by couple's three children: Grace, and George Whalen. r exchanged vows six decades on EIL~abeth's birthday, Dec. in Alva. said she and John met 500 State St. * Belle Fourche * (6051 892-4773 high school in Sundance and all through high school. A later they were married. asked what attracted her Elizabeth replied, =How do know? He started chasing me never quit. He was persistent." two days after Harbor," Elizabeth said. was called up and went to a pted, and, ~l- they I guess they him at home to take him. fellows like feed people." the couple married, they on the same place they live ranch inherited through mother. Located at the of Wyoming Highways 24, the ranch is famous haystacks. camper. Sometimes they'd drag it through the boulders in the Big Horns. Sometimes they would just camp out in the pasture." Elizabeth remarked, %Ve~e had such good friends through the years. They're so much fun." The Whalens have seen a lot of changes in their world during their marriage, and Elizabeth misses some of the old ways. Among those things are her washing machine and cook stove. "We had a 32-volt generator with big batteries. On Mondays we had to charge them up to run the wash- ing machine," she explained. =We had an old boiler on the wood stove to heat the water. I know it washed better than the automatics do." And she wishes she had the cop- per-clad wood cook stove back. The hand-cranked telephones were a better 911 system, Eliza- beth believes. "We had a party line and if you needed something, we'd sound a general ring. The neigh- bors would be right there way faster than the officers can get here now." Grace summed up their marriage when she said, "They did a good job of making a real home. Dad's being so persnickety is what's helped keep the place running ef- ficiently. He always learned what's was new in farming and ranching. "Mum kept the home and garden, and kept us kids in line." That, Elizabeth said, was a chal- lenge John met when he bought his first New Holland baler. =He went to a place where they taught ranchers how to run the balers and stack the bales. They said you could only stack them so high. John figured it out by himself and taught our boys how to stack them, too." After sixty years of marriage, Elizabeth still couldn't come up with a secret to their success. ;We had three kids and how many dogs?" she asked. "I don't know what he would admire in me. He was a good neighborf She did have a piece of advice for newly-weds: =Don~ quit each other the first fight. Stick together through thick and thin." Elizabeth didn't quit when John shot his finger off and wanted to help him feed. "t had a~ time cutting the strings (on-the bales], and John finally said, 'We'll have to buy more land flit takes you that long to feed the cows." John didn't quit when Elizabeth ran the sweep during haying sea- son and "dam near ran over him." The difficult times were bearable because the couple knew how to have fun. After John learned to dance, music and dancing became a big part of their lives. =John was pretty bashful, and he wouldn't dance," Elizabeth re- called. =I finally talked him into going to this goofy dance. We were dressed up goofy, too, and, my gosh, we won the prize. We just shuffled around." Elizabeth was part of a band that provided music for many of the lo- cal dances. She played the piano and accordion; Chester Hejde played the bass horn; Kay Dungey, violin; Woody Vote, drums and trumpet; Irma Dungey played the clarinet and sang, too; Walter Gor don, trombone, Dons Belle Ross, piano; and whoever else showed up, "Sometimes there was more band than crowd," Elizabeth said. "John danced and swore it was the best music to dance to." Daughter Grace added, "They both took time m smell the roses. I think that is the key to their suc- cess. Dad quit working in his 50s. They would camp in that old Guess Who? Call The Sundance Times after 8:00 a.m. on Friday with The names of these photos and win a Free Car wash Token from Hoppy's Car Wash @ Is looking for a part time ad "V representati !i~ ;! 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