Our Group

Way back in 1972, 44 years ago to be exact, four couples from our church got married in the same year. In our small, young congregation (50-60 people), that was a lot of weddings.  Several times through the years “our group”, as we call ourselves, have gotten together to celebrate. Last evening was one of those celebrations.

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Ray and Betty Hertzler are the oldest in our group, marrying at the mature age of 37!  They were married first (in April), in Chesapeake and made their home in Powhatan on a dairy farm. They started in a very small trailer but later built a house across the road where they still reside. The Hertzlers have two children.

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Gene and Pat Hertzler were next, marrying in June, in Harrisonburg. Hurricane Agnes (June 19-24) did her best to detrail our wedding plans. As she roared up the east coat, dumping 7 inches of rain on the area, the James River flooded, big time! The old, one-way trestle bridge on 522 at Maidens had just been replaced with a new, state of the art, bridge. The water reached the roadway of the bridge and washed out the approaches. Gene had to go to Lynchburg to get around the flooding to make it to Harrisonburg. The wedding day turned out to be a beautiful, warm summer day.  We made our home on a dairy farm in Powhatan where we still live.  We have two children and five grandchildren.

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(I put this picture in from my archives to show the magnitude of the height of the water)

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Harold and Elaine Alderfer were married in early September in Minnesota, Elaine’s home area.  Harold and Elaine met while she was in Voluntary Service in Chesapeake. After the wedding, they also settled in Powhatan on a dairy farm. They have moved the most.  They moved their farming operation from Powhatan to Minnesota, back to Powhatan and then to Brunswick County in Southern Virginia. After selling the dairy, they moved to Louisa in central Virginia where they now reside. The Alderfers have one son and twin granddaughters.

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Sam and Poe Powell were the last of our group, marrying in late September in Powhatan. Poe was the youngest, a 17 year-old bride. They made their home in Amelia County in a trailer on his parents family farm. They later built a house a little further back the driveway, nestled in the woods, where they still live. The Powells have 3 sons and seven grandchildren.

We had such a good time eating, story telling, laughing and catching up on our lives. Three of us still go to Powhatan Mennonite Church and even though we see each other every Sunday it is not the same as sitting and visiting at the same table.

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Our scrumptious, luscious Lady Finger Cheesecake and fruit topping made by Poe Powell

We learned some very interesting things… (for those who know us, let’s see if you can figure this out!)

  • There is only one in the group who has not had surgery.
  • There is one who is not missing any body parts or had body parts replaced. (hip, knees, hysterectomy, piece of colon, appendix, etc. Teeth did not count!).
  • As a group we take 17 prescription medicines. One does not take any.
  • We have traveled to the west coast, Argentina, Hawaii, Bermuda and Puerto Rico.
  • Only one still has her parents living.
  • All but three are taking their social security benefits.
  • Two couples are still actively employed and earning paychecks.
  • One couple still have the cars they each owned when they got married.
  • All but two have had car accidents.
  • The worse accident in our group was a chain saw injury to the face and arm.
  • One has used up 3 of their “nine lives”, another had a very serious illness and another is a cancer survivor.
  • Only one does not have gray hair.
  • We have lost two children to death and suffered 3 miscarriages between us.
  • Each couple was grateful for the children God blessed them with.  Each couple in some way has dealt with some uncertainty whether age, infertility, miscarriages or genetic disease.
  • One has twin granddaughters and one has a daughter getting married this summer.

It was a wonderful evening of sweet fellowship, story telling, reminiscing and looking at our wedding pictures.  Oh my, how we have changed!!!! We wondered ….why don’t get together more often. We departed determined to do this more often.

2016….Our group… we are still celebrating and looking forward to more years to come.

Our menu:

  • Appetizer: Stuffed Mushrooms  (The original recipe came from http://www.cooks.com)
  • Barbecued Cornish Hens
  • Sweet Corn
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Orange/Pineapple Jello Salad
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls and Honey Butter
  • Ladyfinger Cheesecake with Mixed Fruit Topping  (Recipe is from Taste of Home and is actually called Cherry Cheese Torte)

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