Kesley Colbert

When you marry the queen of the hop…

Folks, next week will mark my 49th wedding anniversary. You see my dilemma right off. I have given my first wife a very special gift every year for the past 48 summers. I have about run out of ideas.

If I don’t come up with something quick as a wink my streak is going to end. And don’t call and suggest I surprise her with a tool box. I did that in 1975. It had a full set of Craftsman screwdrivers, box and open end wrenches, a sparkplug gauge, a line level, duct tape, hammer, a complete socket set, utility knife, safety glasses, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge…..      

It was awesome! And, uh, fairly accessible in case I needed to work on the lawnmower, fix a leaky pipe under the sink or add on to the clock shed.

I’m my own worst enemy here. Leon told me to be careful weeks before we were married, “Don’t ‘give her the moon’ right out of the box. You’ll back yourself into the ‘how do I top last year’ corner!”

We went to St. Louis on our honeymoon. We saw four baseball games in five days! It was a rookie mistake. I set the bar toooo high right off the bat! My only excuse is I was young….and I was so used to Leon giving me bad, off the wall, crazy advice, I completely ignored him.

And I had to pay the consequences of starting at the top and then continuing to “up” my gift each succeeding anniversary. The second year we were married I gave her the complete box set of Faron Young records.

Cathy has certainly reciprocated. She finds the most thoughtful gifts. One year she got tired of me dragging water hoses back and forth across the yard. She “gave” me an underground sprinkler system. It was perfect! And still in use today!

The year before that she gave me a pair of six-month-old Redbone hound dogs. I named them Minnie and Pearl. Minnie couldn’t smell a coon track if the raccoon ran over her! And Pearl turned out to be the family pet. But I loved those two dogs. 

We don’t keep score about these things but it’s important that I honor her each year with an “appropriate” gift. Listen, it took me three months to find a Ronco Veg-o-Matic!  But I’m telling you, that thing would cut, slice, chop, dice, shred….

The year she gave me the sprinkler system, I bought her a right rear tire for the car. It’s the way a great marriage works…. We both had each other’s best interest at heart. She didn’t want me sweating myself to death moving those hoses around, I was afraid that old slick tire might “blow out” on her at any moment.

Sometimes I got Divine help with my selections. Cathy was pregnant with Josh and not feeling well so I had to wash the dishes. I mean, like three days in a row! When the next anniversary rolled around you can bet I had an automatic dishwasher delivered to the house!  

I only “missed” one time in 48 years. I had a July 1 deadline at work and I got so involved with meeting it, I completely forgot I was even married. Or that I had a 13th wedding anniversary that same week. 

I couldn’t even fake it. I apologized profusely and told Cathy I would get her anything she wanted….it would just be a little after the fact. She didn’t blink, bat an eye or hesitate for a nanosecond, “I would like to go on a cruise.”

It was like she had been waiting for THIRTEEN years for me to say that!

We drove all the way to Miami to get on a cruise ship bound for “somewhere” in the Caribbean. They had a pre-dawn breakfast, breakfast, brunch, lunch, mid-afternoon spread, first dinner, second dinner and a midnight buffet that started at 11:00 PM. I made every one of them! And I ate till I hurt. It was the only way I figured I might could “break even” on this deal.

I realized that she liked to go places. So, the following year I surprised her with a trip to the Goat Roping Festival in Helena, Arkansas.

It has been a fun-filled 49 years for sure. And I absolutely know how doghouse lucky I was to trick Cathy into marrying me. It has been a distinct pleasure to shower her with thoughtful, carefully planned out anniversary gifts over the years.

So you see why I’m a little desperate here. I’ve got to come up with something spectacular pretty quickly. If I can’t figure this out in the next couple of days….there’s a good chance I might end up in Aruba….



Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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