Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

Couples renew vows in special ceremony in Clearwater

CLEARWATER

Anyone who walked into Horizon Bay Clearwater on Saturday might have thought they were entering a wedding chapel instead of a retirement community. At least for that afternoon, they would be right.

Horizon Bay's lobby was center stage for a wedding vow renewal ceremony for 12 couples, nine of them married more than 50 years.

"This is our third year of hosting a wedding vow renewal ceremony," said Pam Cody, director of community relations at the assisted living facility, who received guests as they entered the door. "We set it up like a wedding and reception, and Publix donates a wedding cake. Everyone looks forward to this day."

Family and friends who walked in the door were greeted by harp music, delicate favor boxes and a wedding book to sign.

The couples waited in the wings until their names were announced, then they were escorted up a white-carpeted aisle to their seats in the front row. Some used walkers, some wheelchairs and some walked side-by-side toward the Rev. L. Tracy Reid, who officiated at the ceremony.

Reid waited in front of French doors overlooking a garden and stood before a trellis adorned with flowers and tulle.

The ceremony, Reid said, was designed to be the first day of a new season of the couples' lives together. The couples clasped hands and waited for their cue to say I do.

Family and friends sat in white folding chairs as soft music played. Some employees stopped to watch the special event that had so many people smiling.

For Lois and Eugene Steele, who have lived at Horizon Bay for about nine months, the ceremony was a pleasant surprise. They have been married the longest of all the couples, 71 years.

"When they told us about it, we wanted to take part in the ceremony," said Lois, 92.

Eugene, 93, still works, serving as director of Eupen Cable in Clearwater.

"My wife and I will be married 72 years in June," he said. "I met Lois at a junior-senior banquet in high school. I got her right out of high school — didn't want to give her any chance of getting away.

"But we didn't get married for four years. I went away to school for four years and came home every weekend to visit her. The week we got married, I graduated from Robert Morris School (University) in Pittsburgh, quit my job in Pittsburgh, got married in Pittsburgh, got the measles in Pittsburgh and moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania, and got a new job — all in one week. We were married on June 26, 1941."

When asked what they believe is the key to longevity in marriage, Eugene said, "Patience."

"I'll double that," Lois said.

Joan and William "Bill" Tidd tied the knot 62 years ago and looked forward to this year's ceremony.

"We've lived here about two and a half years and took part in this occasion last year, too," said Joan, 83. "It's beautiful."

Bill Tidd bought his wife a special bouquet of flowers for the ceremony and smiled when he talked about her.

"We met in Cleveland, Ohio, on a blind date," said Bill, 86. "I worked with her sister. When I saw Joan the first time, I thought, now that's a good-looking woman."

Patricia and Thomas Laidlaw have been married 58 years and said common friends drew them together.

"We met in Hudson County, New Jersey, and our four wonderful children contributed to our good marriage," Thomas said.

May and Walter Maks will be married 52 years next month and live in Dunedin. Though they renewed their vows on a cruise ship after 25 years of marriage, they read about the Horizon Bay ceremony in the newspaper and decided to take the facility up on its invitation to host anyone in the community married 50 years or more.

"We met at a dance in Huntsville, Canada," May said. "We had just graduated and I had come from Britain."

"It was love at first sight," Walter said.

To what do they attribute their long marriage?

"Compromise," Walter said.

"Patience," May said. "And we discuss things openly. We don't lie to each other. I think being truthful is one of the most important things, even if it hurts."

Virginia and Elmer Scott were 18 and 25, respectively, when they met at a dance in Louisville, Ky. From that day on, he showed up to take her for coffee, every day. They've been married 57 years.

For the last two years, the Scotts have lived at Horizon Bay, only a few minutes away from their daughter. Elmer presented his wife with white flowers before the ceremony. When asked how he felt about renewing their vows, he said, "I can hardly wait."

A professional photographer snapped couples' pictures after the ceremony. A reception awaited the couples and their guests in the library, complete with white tablecloths, silver cake knives and champagne flutes. With a taste of champagne, couples toasted their partners and savored chocolate-covered strawberries, petit fours and a slice of a two-tiered wedding cake.

Elmer Scott gently held his wife's arm and said, smiling, that saying "Yes dear" was the reason for their long marriage.

Then he added, "What's special is knowing she's here with me every morning when I wake up."

     
Comments
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the groups behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over an old city building that sits between the hit eateries.Both want to redevelop the city’s former office of cable communications ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Top 5 at noon: Is Chronister the right man at the right time?; Luke Bryan chats ahead of his Tampa show; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.NEW SHERIFF WON OVER THOSE IN POWER. THE VOTERS? THEY DON’T GET A SAYRepublican Chad Chronister was appointed Hillsborough’s top cop after 26 years with the office. Is he the right man at the ...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

Weeki Wachee man arrested after search warrant turns up drugs, thousands of vape cartridges

A Weeki Wachee man faces drug charges after deputies said a search of his home Wednesday turned up nearly three pounds of marijuana, more than three pounds of hashish wax and more than 3,000 hashish oil cartridges for vape pens.Devin Alexander Volkes...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Rick Stroud weighs in on report about possible Jameis Winston suspension

Tampa Bay Times beat reporter Rick Stroud isn't buying an ESPN radio report that any suspension levied against Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston by the NFL would stem from Winston's failure to report an alleged incident between him and a female Ub...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Investigation finds three St. Petersburg police lieutenants lied about work records

Investigation finds three St. Petersburg police lieutenants lied about work records

ST. PETERSBURG — Three police lieutenants falsified records about where they were during work hours, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department — a severe violation of ethics for three leaders on the agency’s day shift.The lieutenants claimed ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

An autistic boy, who went missing after walking out of his Holiday home on Wednesday night, has been safely located.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home around 11 p.m., according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.He was safely located on Thursday mornin...
Updated: 1 hour ago