Romance thriving after 60 years of marriage
DOREEN Pittman had an inkling she liked him more than he liked her.
Even so, she bided her time, getting to know the young man she met at a dance in Laidley one Saturday night.
Sixty-two years later, Jim and Doreen are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary - a milestone few couples can tick off - so I guess you could say it worked out in the end.
"In 1956 I met up with Jim at the local dance,” she said.
"He didn't seem as interested at the time as what I was in him.”
Doreen said her first impression of her now-husband of 60 years was that he was handsome and lovely-natured but also a little reserved.
"He's a wonderful guy, otherwise I wouldn't have married him,” she said.
In spite of the slow start, a friendship between Doreen and Jim blossomed and the couple became engaged two years later, for Doreen's 21st birthday.
"We used to go to the dances and to the picture theatre, when Laidley had a picture theatre,” she said.
"Every Saturday night we met at dances.”
A year later, they exchanged vows surrounded by friends and family, many of whom attended their diamond anniversary celebrations this year.
The couple encountered every opportunity to prove they meant their wedding vows as they experienced floods, sickness and drought together.
For nearly half a century the newly married couple worked on a 113-acre farm in Glenore Grove, growing potatoes, onions and lucerne.
In the beginning, when they'd just married and just acquired the farm, they returned from their honeymoon to find their property badly flooded.
"It washed a lot of top soil off the farm and our potatoes were just hanging by the seed,” she said.
"That's what we had to come home to from our honeymoon and that's how we started off.”
The hurdle did not turn the pair off farming and, despite selling the farm and relocating to a home in Kensington Grove 12 years ago, the couple have never felt better than they did on the farm.
"It was sad when we left the farm but Jim was 71 and I was 69,” she said.
"I loved getting out, driving the tractor and baling hay under the stars at night. It was fantastic. I cried for a whole week when we left the farm.”
Even so, the romance is strong.
"We're still as happy as ever, we love each other very much, Jim and I,” Doreen said.