Everything We Could Tell You About … A Happy Marriage

Melvin and Minnie Lou Scott
Photograph by O. Lovett

Photo by O. LovettNAMES: Melvin and Minnie Lou Scott | AGES: 101 and 100 | HOMETOWN: Frankston | QUALIFICATIONS: Married eighty years ago on November 11, 1927 / The first of five living generations (one son, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren)

• We married at a traveling marvel show. It was like vaudeville, in a tent. They wanted somebody to marry onstage, for the crowd, of course, and they were going to pay $25. We were gonna get married anyway, so we just got married like that. That’s how silly we were.

• With the $25 we bought our bedroom suite, our dishes, and a cabinet for the kitchen. We’re still eating out of the dishes we bought, and we’ve got the cabinet in our kitchen right now.

• We married in November, and that December we built our house. We’ve been living nearly 79 years in this same house. When we bought the lot, it was $50, and to build the house cost $1,000. We had to build on a loan because we didn’t have the money, but we made sure it was the very best lumber.

• We were making it all right until that Depression, and then you just couldn’t get any work. That was pretty rough going. Melvin had to go to Texas City, where he loaded stuff on ships to Japan for 35 cents an hour. That was the highest wage then. We just worked and did the best we could.

• Every occasion, every birthday, is a big to-do these days. It’s rare for two people to live this long together.

• We’ve outlived four doctors. Melvin has never been sick enough to go to a doctor, except for the pacemaker. He didn’t know there was anything wrong with him or think he was sick, but when they took his pulse at the hospital, it was 34. They put a pacemaker in, and it lasted six years. Then, about a month ago, they had to put a new pacemaker in because the battery was obsolete. He’s healed up just fine.

• We have biscuits and eggs and bacon just about every day. Sausage or whatever we want. Most people are on a diet or something like that. Even our son is, because he has high blood pressure. Neither one of us has stuff we can’t eat.

• We don’t know why the divorce rate is so high these days. Perhaps it’s stress. Things are so different now; there’s a lot of pressure on young couples. But you can’t just leave, like what people do now. That’s not quite necessary.

• We used to do a lot of fishing together. We would fish every day.

• Being married eighty years doesn’t seem like a big deal to us. We don’t have enough sense to think about it like that. But we don’t know anyone who has been married this long.

• We just never thought about anything else but staying married. We never did think about separating or anything just ’cause things weren’t perfect. All you can do is make the best of it.

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