Great State: The Best Christmas Present, Each Other
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — They had a big get-together the day before, so the old pictures were close at hand.
Eulene Wilkerson’s corsage was still fresh in the freezer for her to put back on.
It’s not very often that two people live long enough, or love long enough to celebrate 75 years of marriage.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” laughs Eulene.
The first time they met Kenneth was helping his uncle deliver chickens to Eulene’s house.
“I saw her out there and so I asked her for a date,” he recalls.
“Did you say yes,” asks a visitor? “Yes,” chuckles Eulene.
Their first meeting took place in the fall of 1937.
They married on Christmas Eve, 1938.
She was 18.
He was 16.
The ceremony took place at the preacher’s house in front of his Christmas tree.
He took his officiating fee in fur.
“He wanted a half-dozen rabbits, so that’s what I paid him for getting married,” says Kenneth.
He built airplanes and served in the Army during WWII.
She raised 4 kids.
Their oldest lives next door now.
Kenneth and Eulene had one daughter who died in a car wreck.
The Wilkersons outlived another son, but whatever happened, good or bad, they celebrated and suffered together.
Kenneth says, “Oh yeah. We always stayed together on whatever trouble there was.”
“Couldn’t nobody take us apart,” echoes Eulene.
Kenneth wasn’t ever much for gift giving.
Eulene was the family shopper.
He just gave her the money to buy what she and the kids wanted.
You won’t find anything wrapped up beneath their small tree this year either, just a few hints of the gifts they’ve already opened, one special baby, and a picture of each other.
No other gifts were ever necessary.