Couple celebrates dual milestones

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Their hair is grayer, their memories a little faded around the edges, but their hands hold each other just as sweetly as ever.

Gladys and Clinton Bush wanted very much to get married, but they had to wait until he turned 21. But they couldn’t wait a minute more than that, so they got married on his 21st birthday.

“He wanted a nice present,” said Mrs. Bush. “And it actually was a Saturday, and we decided to get married on a Saturday.

“I thought it was a good time, and I wouldn’t forget it,” said Mr. Bush.

The date was July 30, 1938. Last week, Mr. Bush turned 96, and the couple celebrated 75 years together.

The two met on the tennis court at Littleton High School, when it was in the building that is now the Littleton Public Schools administration building on Crocker Street. She says she saw him playing, turned right around and went home to get her racquet and a wingwoman.

It just took him a day or two to ask her out, she remembers, and she agreed to see a movie at Woodlawn Theater.

What was it about her that caught his eye?

“Everything,” he says, as though it went without saying.

They had a small wedding at home about a year later, and spent their honeymoon at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

Mr. Bush worked at Heckethorne Manufacturing in downtown Littleton, and went on to become an engineer at Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin. Mrs. Bush worked as a secretary at a savings and loan. The couple made a comfortable home for their two daughters in the Cornerstone Park neighborhood.

“Littleton was our home,” said Mrs. Bush. “It was a small town, and we knew everybody, and we had wonderful neighbors. We never locked our door.”

Their shared love of golf led them to become founding members of Pinehurst Country Club in 1958.

“It was a happy time of our life,” Mrs. Bush said with a smile.

The two say most times were good, really. Mr. Bush said he knows when to keep his mouth shut and just go golfing. Mrs. Bush said he never, ever gets mad. She uses the word “content” a lot and says it’s the key to a happy life together.

“Just to be content with each other, and to be nice. To care for each other, and to care for their feelings,” she said.

Their daughter, Kathy Burg, says they are great role models.

“What I’ve learned from my parents is compassion, and to listen to other people, and to be aware of their feelings,” she said.

Caregiver Laurie James has only known them a year or so, but she agrees.

“Gladys has taught me to accept what’s going on during the day and be content, and if you’re not happy with how something is going, you need to change something,” she said.