BY Irma C. Davis
My parents, Guillermo and Oralia Davis celebrated 60 years of marriage on Friday, March 3.
They married on March 3, 1957, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Harlingen, Texas.
They renewed their vows along with an anniversary dinner and dance on Saturday, March 4.
They were a very young couple as my father was 17 and my mother was 16.
Marrying so young back in 1957 was not an uncommon act.
My father has always said that from the first time he saw my mother – he knew that she was the girl for him.
My parents met for the first time at what is now Fair Park. My father was “cruising” in his Mercury. He states, “I was driving around when I saw your mother walking with 2 of her friends.
They were walking to the park. I saw her and I really liked her. I knew I had to meet her so I followed her and her friends, in my car, till they got to the park.
I then somehow got the courage to walk up and speak to her.” They courted for a year and the rest is history.
You would think that this story could be quite typical but, it isn’t. What is unique about their story is how they married.
My father has always been a very responsible man and an excellent provider.
He never stops to do things for himself instead he puts his needs and wants aside and provides for my mother and family.
Thus back in 1957, my father knew he wanted to give his young bride the wedding of her dreams so he had to find a solution to pay for their wedding.
My father owned a 1949 Mercury Coupe, that he so loved. His Mercury was a maroon two-door coupe, it had fender skirts, a sun visor and was super shiny.
My father loved his car as it had been a gift to him from his father, Maxie Davis.
He always enjoyed taking his car “cruising” around town. But, as determined as he was to provide an appropriate wedding for his fiancé, he decided to sell his one and only possession.
He sold his 1949 Mercury for a mere $500 dollars and used that money to pay for the expenses of their beautiful and elaborate wedding.
Throughout the years and as far back as I can remember, my father has always referred back to that Mercury, stating, “that car was beautiful, always shiny as a mirror and it was the one and only car I ever truly loved owning.”
Throughout the years we have shown our dad Mercury’s that have been posted for sale.
My father would always look at these postings saying, “I would like to buy a Mercury again, to take your mother around town.”
As a young child, I would reflect and think to myself, “what could I do to get dad his Mercury again?” I can honestly say that I have combed the web for over 12 years trying and hoping to find a Mercury.
I hunted for many years but, for the past two years or so I have continually monitored a beautiful Mercury that was posted for sale in Missouri, then Georgia, then on E-bay and most recently in Florida. This Mercury was a dream. A beautiful car that had all of the same features that my dad’s car had.
As I mentioned, these cars can be pricey and this car was no different. I decided that I needed to try to find out who owned this Mercury and after some research, I found out that the owner lives in Alaska. I knew that this was a ridiculous attempt but, I decided to place a phone call.
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, at 8:25 a.m., I called the owner of the Mercury in Alaska and spoke to him regarding his car. He advised me of his price which was much lower than had been posted on the web. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but, the story gets better.
The gentleman advised me that the car was in Florida, as he had not sold it on e-bay, he decided to send the car to a friend in Florida who was supposed to take it to the various car auctions in Florida.
As luck would have it he stated, “the car is going to auction today and it could be sold by now. It is actually at the auction right now.” He offered to make a few phone calls and attempt to stop the car from being auctioned off but, there were no guarantees. I was quite disappointed but, I decided to leave things to fate. I figured, “if it’s meant to be – it’ll happen.”
I did not hear from anyone until about 5:30 p.m., when a phone call came in from Florida. The gentleman on the line stated, “were you calling about the car?” I said yes and was prepared to hear, “sorry – it sold.” But, instead I hear, “yes – the car didn’t sell because I missed the registration time and thus I couldn’t put it in the auction.” I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, fate was clearly telling me that this was the one. But, before I committed to it I wanted some of my parent’s guidance and thus I showed them some pictures of the car online and I asked for their input on the car. Needless to say my father fell in love with the car right away. He asked me for the location and I said, “it’s in Florida.” My father stated that car was exactly like the one he owned.
At this point they were 4 days away from celebrating their 60th anniversary so my father tells my mother, “let’s go to Florida to get the car.” Of course my mother asked him, “are you crazy?” and he stated, “no – I want to take you back to church in the car that I sold to marry you.” Since that day he can’t stop talking about the Mercury.
They decided to make plans to travel to Florida as early as Sunday, March 5 to go buy the car.
Of course, they had no idea what I was planning. I made arrangements with the seller in Florida, and I asked my nephew, Robert Curry, if he would fly to Florida to ensure that the car was everything that I had seen online and what I was told. He said, “Yes – I’ll go for Grandma and Grandpa,” thus, Operation Mercury, got into full swing.
My parents had no idea the car was enroute.
My parents have endured many of life’s obstacles, they’ve had great times, beautiful memories and the ups and downs of life but their marriage has endured the test of time. They have raised a family of 10, on a foundation of love, faith, family and goals.
They have always put family first and themselves second. On March 4th, they were first. They were back in the car that they met in, they drove around town in and the car they dated in.
I did this not for recognition but, for the love of my parents and as a huge, THANK YOU, for everything they have done for me. I am the person that I am today because of them. I am ecstatic that my father’s wish came true, he took his bride to church in the car that he sold to marry her 60 years ago.
And, in the words of Alan Jackson, “I’m gonna buy me a Mercury and cruise it up and down the road.” Happy 60th Anniversary Mom and Dad.