It's too bad this photo is blurred, but you can still see the expression on Dad's face, and that expression is absolutely priceless. It's classic "Dad caught in the act!"
Mom and Dad celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on September 15, 1963. Aunt Polly helped Bob, Marsha, and me plan a surprise open house for them. This is a photo from that celebration.
Dad's expression is the result of events that preceeded this party. The week before the party, they were travelling in New England. I was there with them and my job as 13-year-old was to persuade them not to stay longer, but to travel so they could arrive home before the specified day. We arrived in time and we thought everything was under control.
It was under control until the morning of the party. That was when our hot water heater sprang a leak. Being the handyman extraordinaire that he was, Dad set about to fix it. It didn't go smoothly and took longer than expected. It seems there was some part he didn't have (probably a piece of copper) and was unable to get because it was Sunday and in those days, stores were closed on Sundays. Not to be outsmarted by a water heater, he creatively used a copper penny to repair the leak. Unfortunately, people began arriving for this surprise party before the leak was repaired. Persistent man that Dad was, he refused to believe that there was going to be a party and he refused to quit before the repair was finished.
There he was on the floor in the basement, torch in hand, making his repair when his cousin, Evie McClelland, and her husband, Cub, came downstairs to see what was going on. At that point he realized that, indeed, people were arriving to celebrate his and Mom's 25th anniversary. He finished his repair, cleaned up, and went upstairs to greet the guests -- and be photographed with this priceless expression.
If they were still alive, they would be celebrating their 71st anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!