We dated for a few years but then drifted apart in the early 1970's while I was away in the Army.
We were young and both needed some space.
When I returned, she'd just graduated from the Art Institute in Atlanta, and she was back in town.
We soon began dating, and on May 5, 1974, we were married by a family friend who was a preacher.
He lived in a mobile home in Brewton, Alabama, not far from the beach. He did the ceremony on his front porch.
His wife, who'd never taken a picture with a "real" camera, did her best to capture the moment, but none of them were printable.
Life is a funny business, and age is not just about years here on earth. I've known 15 year-olds that seemed older than the pyramids, and Jilda, who in a few hours will enter her sixth decade of life, could have been the inspiration for the Bob Dylan classic song, Forever Young.
I guess Honest Abe said it best:
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count,
It's the life in your years."
Truer words have never been spoken, Abe.
Happy Birthday Jilda.