I’m sending a huge shout out to Mr. and Mrs. Phillip L. Smoot to congratulate them on 50 years of marriage!
My Mom, Alice Smoot, who is from Logan, WV met my father when she was visiting her big sister in Madison, WV. They were teenagers when my Dad staked his claim. Their courtship continued beyond high school and into adult years. My Dad was drafted into the Army, and my Mom pursued her teaching certification in all subjects at West Virginia State.
As a child, I remember my Mom showing me some of the love letters my Dad wrote her from Vietnam. She still holds onto them with their yellowed papers and ink marks spread like an old tattoo. My Dad would send my Mom money to help with college expenses like joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Phil and Alice were reunited after the war and moved to Bridgeport, CT. Neither of them liked the area, so they made their way to Michigan where my Nanny lived. My Dad worked at Ford Motor Company and my Mom landed a teaching job at Highland Park High School.
This photo was taken outside their first home on Harlow Street on the West Side:
My parents had 3 boys, Phillip Jr., Corey and Jason. I was a year old when my parents moved to Southfield in order to provide my siblings with a better education. My youngest brother, Brad was born and made our family complete.
I cannot stress enough how much fun I had growing up and having both of my parents in the home to provide stability, love, positive examples, support and encouragement. They both worked more than one job. My Mom never had a summer off. She was always doing extra service at youth sports camps and lifeguard duties. My Dad would come home with salt on his skin from hot conditions in the plant. My Dad side hustled everything from silk screen shirts to jewelry at the weekend flea market.
Together, my parents owned a commercial cleaning business called P&A Cleaning. Those 10 years of extra income put Corey, Brad and myself through college. The grandkids got love too! My parents looked after them as if they were their own. All of the Grandkids have had the opportunity to travel and do Disney. My Dad never hesitated to roll out when the plants shutdown.
I didn’t expect to write this much, but the lovely part of blogging is I never force it. I want to make sure I recognize the two people who have made me into the woman I am today. I am blessed to have taken after the best of both worlds.
My Mom and Dad recently relocated to Florida to spend the rest of their lives together. I had a very tough time after they left Kentucky on top of still grieving Kevin’s passing. I was sobbing on the phone to my Grandma and she told me it was normal to be upset. She described them best when she said, “Your parents are your jewels.”
I am grateful for the time they spent with me in Louisville. The Ohio Valley air quality made everyday life for my Dad difficult. He is doing much better in the Sunshine State. Phil and Alice are exploring all the restaurants and enjoying life.
THANK YOU MOM & DAD!
HAPPY 50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!