'With his ring' Heyers fete 50th
For nearly 50 years, Eva Heyer's wedding ring finger has been void the symbol of marital unity. A half-century ago she was rinsing her firstborn's diaper when her wedding band met its Waterloo - in the "loo." "I've not had one since. We were alwa...
For nearly 50 years, Eva Heyer's wedding ring finger has been void the symbol of marital unity.
A half-century ago she was rinsing her firstborn's diaper when her wedding band met its Waterloo - in the "loo."
"I've not had one since. We were always going to replace it, but we never got around to it," said the grandmother of 14. "We had other priorities."
Those "priorities" included medical bills for a son born with complications and the purchase of a home - with the obligatory encumbrances.
"All those years, my finger was bare," Eva, 69, mused.
"And she never ran away," husband Lawrence, 76, quipped. "Or if she did, she came back."
The couple was tripping the light fantastic when Lawrence proposed marriage 50 years ago.
"I was farming," he said. "I needed someone to wash dishes."
Eva's grin tells a different story. "He proposed on St. Patrick's Day," she said. They tied the knot June 23, 1956.
The Heyers had made their home in Bloomington, but the lake country, where Eva had spent summers as a child, drew them north.
In 1986, the Heyers came up to assist a family member with yard work on Belle Taine. They decided they wanted to call the territory home.
They headed into Wimpy's (where Eva now works three days a week as a waitress) and picked up a paper. They spotted an ad for property just northeast of the Park Rapids city limits.
The hip-high grass was no deterrent. Eva, who correlated mail, and Lawrence, a hydraulic mechanics tester, were soon traveling north on weekends and vacations to tend their domain.
The couple moved permanently to the area in 1990, soon to become engaged in a variety of volunteer activities - the VFW, Antique Tractor Club and Toys for Tots among them.
"When we've been married 50 years, you've got to get me a ring," Eva had chided her husband.
She longed for Black Hills gold. "I didn't want a diamond."
As the half-century mark approached, Eva's search intensified. Grabbing Lawrence's hand, she pointed out her find at last.
"Well, I guess so," he said.
Six red roses accompanied the ring. "He'd never bought me roses before," Eva said, with the exception of a bouquet during their son's hospitalization.
"We fight; we don't keep things bottled up," Lawrence said of their marital success. "But we don't stay mad long."
Friends who'd been party to their frays during courtship had given the marriage six months.
But the Heyers see their disagreements as a healthy form of communication.
"We still argue - and we feel better after we do," Eva said. But this is balanced by sharing - feelings and material things.
"I think we were supposed to be together," she said.
"And now we're officially married," she added.