Louisville Bride

FAL-WIN 2017

Louisville Bride magazine is Louisville, Kentucky's premier bridal publication, featuring photos of wedding gowns and listings for Louisville reception halls, caterers, wedding planners, photographers, and other wedding service providers.

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8 8 F a l l | W i n t e r B R I D E LONGEVITY It started with a holler. Anna Deerr, who grew up off Taylor Boulevard near Churchill Downs, sat on her porch swing when she noticed the new kid in the neighborhood come down the street on his bike. "I hollered, 'Hey, good lookin'," recalls the 94-year-old in her home in South Louisville. He later came to her house and asked her to go to a movie with him. "I was 15 and you were 16," Anna says to her husband Paul. "I'll tell you, it was right after the '31 and '32 flood," says 95-year-old Paul, sitting in an oversized recliner. "It was the'37 flood, honey. We didn't have a '32 flood," Anna says. The two got married on January 31, 1942, months before Paul was drafted to serve in the Navy during World War II. They drove down to Elizabethtown with five carloads of their friends and knocked on a preacher's door. The man had just gotten back from vacation and was asleep in bed, but he got dressed and married them in front of his fireplace. They cele- brated afterwards at Anna's sister's house in Louisville. While Paul served on an underwater demolition team that took him on a failed, almost suicidal mission to Normandy for D-Day, he made a wedding band for Anna out of an English silver coin. Anna stowed away $1,500 working as a nurse at Nichols Army Hospital. When Paul returned home, a wooded 15-acre property on Arnoldtown Road off Dixie Highway caught his eye. He says his dream was to build a house and raise his kids there. The asking price? $1,500. "We almost got a divorce over that, but I went ahead and put up the cash," Anna says. Paul built their house, which they live in today, by hand. "Things were different in those days," he says. "Didn't have every- thing you needed like now." The couple had four kids, two of which have died of cancer. They used to spend weekends at Rough River Lake on a houseboat, which Paul also built. They retired after several decades, Paul from DuPont chemical company as an instrument mechanic and electrician, and Anna from the Chamber of Commerce. (She used to do bookkeeping and payroll for Louisville Magazine when it was owned by the Chamber.) They have several grandchildren and great-grand- children and remain active in their church, though they recently elected to give up their driver's licenses. They've celebrated milestone anni- versaries over the years, and their family surprised them with a 75th celebration in February. What have they learned about marriage? "We've learned so much we've forgotten it all," Anna says. "It's supposed to be forever," Paul says. "Just have to do a lot of giving in. That's all there is to it. You can't have everything your way — not all the time. Being hard of hearing helps," he says, laughing. Would they do it all over again? "I guess. Probably would," says Paul. "You better say that," says Anna. — Mary Chellis Austin 75 YEARS AND COUNTING

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