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Happy 50th in Kingman, AZ.

On Tuesday, Jerry and I drove to Kingman, AZ; after the completion of the errand (of which I will write later), we went into the Cracker Barrel to have lunch. We had been seated long enough so that we had ordered and had been brought our drinks when we heard a group of waitresses lilting out a special rendition of Happy Birthday in which the words had been changed to Happy Anniversary.

I looked toward the pitiful, though obviously sincere sound, and saw the singers were gathered about a quite elderly appearing couple. Sweet, I thought. The waitresses, having finished their cafeteria crooning, had scattered again about the restaurant, and as they went, I heard several of them explaining to the other patrons that it was a 50th wedding anniversary.

Lifting my camera and trying to be discreet, I snapped a couple frames of the anniversary couple, and then I heard something else; something beautiful and pleasing to my ear. I turned toward the sound and saw a gentleman had commandeered a Cracker Barrel microphone and, looking toward the celebration couple, was crooning a most beautiful love song.

Emboldened now as the focus of the entire restaurant was on the anniversary couple, I walked over, congratulated them, and offered to send by email the pictures, that from my perch across the room, I had taken of them. The group was friendly, and when the gentleman laughingly told me he used to build computers, but now did not even use one, a waitress gave me her email address, so I could send the pictures to her.

“The singer?” I asked. “Is he a friend, and how did he happen to sing here today?”

“Are you local?” the waitress asked me.

“No, I live in Lake Havasu.”

“Well, Kingman is a small, close community, and no, I don’t believe this song was planned. The gentleman who sang is a minister, he happened to be here in the restaurant, and just took the opportunity to add his blessing to this occasion.”

The 50-year groom smiled at me and added, “He is the most wonderful Christian you could ever hope to meet.”

I again congratulated the couple, told them they would be hearing from me, and walked back to my table where Jerry’s food and mine was now ready.

It was a chance encounter at the Kingman Cracker Barrel a few days ago; it was serendipity. I happened on a beautiful couple whose name I do not know, and whose tale I cannot fathom except that almost certainly they have experienced the extremes of life; both joy and sorrow, health and sickness, prosperity and neediness.

I wish them well…wish them God’s blessings.


My devotional blog is here.

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O’Keefe’s Fiftieth Part II

as I said, fishes swam in some of the centerpieces; all the decorations were striking. The food was delicious, the company was capital, the weather was balmy…and the honored couple were handsome, beautiful, witty, and certainly worthy.

We indulged in tasty appetizers beautifully presented on the front lawn; we ate beef and chicken and drank sparkling cider, and proposed toasts. We laughed at the entertainment, and watched with fascination, as by video, each family in the church lifted a congratulatory glass and spoke words of love and endearment to the O’Keefes. We heard accolades from their sons and from their friends.

We ate cake, and Abby teased.

It was a spectacular event; I cannot recall a more beautiful, handsomely done celebration.

In response to Abby’s long-standing mantra, Don lifted a singular toast. Her mantra? “Drink your milk, Don. Milk drinkers make better lovers.”

They are quite a couple, Don and Abby O’Keefe, married now 50 years; fun-loving, godly, accomplished, successful, and having accumulated a wide circle of adoring friends.

Congratulations once again to a very dear couple.

Click on these pictures and they will enlarge.

(Within the next few days, I will be posting many more pictures of this event on my Flicker page.)


My devotional blog is here.

America Christianity/Religion Life Photography

O’Keefe’s Fiftieth

Jerry and I flew into the Oakland airport on Wednesday, spent a couple of days with our friends the Robisons and now are in Oakley, Ca., where Friday night we were part of the beautiful celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of our very dear friends, Don and Abby O’Keefe. Jerry and I went to Bible school in Tulsa, Oklahoma with Abigail before any of us were ever married.

The church they pastor hosted this splendid event, which was exquisite, and tastefully done. Brownstone Gardens, a spread of more than three acres that is owned by one of the families in the church Rev. O’Keefe pastors, was the site of the festivities.

More than 150 persons joined to honor this exceptional couple who have given their lives to the ministry of Jesus Christ. They founded the United Pentecostal Church in Antioch, now pastor a church in Pittsburg, California, and for more than 25 years were missionaries to the continent of Africa. Rev. O’Keefe is currently the Foreign Missions director of the Western District of the UPCI.

In a light manner, Jerry presented the renewal of their vows, while two of their sons stood with them.

Fish swam in the centerpieces. (Problem loading pictures. Will post them later.)

Jerry and I are the designated chaperones for our friends who are celebrating their anniversary; Saturday we drove with them to Monterey, where last night for dinner Jimmy and Bobbie Shoemake joined us.

We’re staying at a very modest Howard Johnson motel, with a very immodest price. Out front their sign says free wireless internet. When, last night, I tried to get on and couldn’t, I called the front desk.

“Could you please tell me how to get on the internet.”

“Uh, are you bringing up Comfort Inn?”


“Well, their password is…… Just type that in. It’s good for both user name and password.”

“Excuse me. You don’t have internet service here?”

“Well, yes, we do, but it’s cable. You must use the cable.”

“…but your sign out front….”

“Oh, does it say that?”

Anyway, I’m using the internet from Comfort Inn well up the street, and I’ve been hours trying to load pictures, so I’m giving up. Check back later. 😦