60 years of marriage: “He fell in love with my lips and my figure… he was addicted”


Special for the Birmingham Times

“You Had Me at Hello” highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello” column, or if you know someone, please send your applications to Barnett Wright [email protected] Include the couple’s name, contact number (s) and what makes their love story unique.


Live: Central point

Married: October 29, 1961

Meet: Around 1957 in Avondale. Amelia and Nathaniel and their families had moved from Woodlawn to Avondale in the same block. Amelia was 18 and Nathaniel 19.

“I cycled through this when I first laid eyes on Amelia, and when I saw her I said ‘good googly moogly!’ She was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I think it was love at first sight for me, but I don’t think she knew it, ”Nathaniel said.

“When we first met Nathaniel’s house was the happening house, we were partying there – before we were saved – his house was where the young people were going to meet and have a good time. moment, ”Amelia recalls. “I fell head over heels in love with this man, he was tall, thin and handsome. He fell in love with my lips and my shape, and I’m telling you, baby, he was addicted and he couldn’t let go! she laughed.

“And I’m still addicted!” added Nathanael.

First date: In 1958, in Avondale at Amelia’s. “Back then we had to sit on a couch,” Amelia said, “we were dating at my house. My mom and dad were in their bedroom and we were in the living room. We didn’t have a TV so we were just having fun, holding hands and kissing… but not too loud, ”she said with a laugh.

“I loved being with her,” Nathanial said, “she had lovely parents. Everyone thought his dad was mean, but he loved me. I could get anything I needed from him, he even let me use his truck, he was a good man.

Round: In 1958. “I was serious from the jump because I wasn’t thinking of anyone but her,” Nathaniel said. ” We love each other. “

“I knew he was going to make my dreams come true,” Amelia said. “When I was a young girl, I found a four leaf clover and made a wish, and I wished a beautiful big husband, two children, a beautiful house and [I knew he would] give me that and much more he made my dreams come true.

Proposal: In 1960 at Amelia on her sofa. “In our day, we didn’t do it the way they do today. We have just discussed it and gone about our business. We didn’t think about [glitz and glamour], we just made a decision and we followed it, ”Nathaniel said.

“We were on one of our dates at my house, and at the time the jobs weren’t paying too much, so we didn’t go anywhere, but while we were talking we just decided we were going. marry, ”Amelia said. “He didn’t kneel down, he didn’t have an engagement ring and I don’t even think he could afford it at the time… We told our parents and they agreed, my parents took care of my husband all the time. a lot, ”Amelia said.

The wedding: In 1961, in Avondale, officiated by the Reverend James Moore of St. Mark’s Baptist Church in Avondale. “We had a wedding on the front porch, right across from my mother-in-law’s house,” Nathaniel said.

“I had a bridesmaid, he had a witness, I had a nice dress, and we did that with our parents and the pastor,” Amelia said.

“The church was down the street from Amelia’s house and across from mine, and they gave us a wedding shower from Amelia [and family] were members of this church, ”recalls Nathaniel.

Most memorable for the bride was a celebration after their nuptials at Nathaniel’s aunt’s house. “Nathaniel’s aunt, Claudia Mae Smith, had arranged for everyone to come to her house in Titusville to party. At that time, Titusville was an exclusive neighborhood… We had a great time with the family and ate and enjoyed each other, ”said Amelia.

Most memorable for the groom was the “pleasant moment of our celebration.” My siblings were there, there were 10 of us and we just had a great time, ”he said.

Asked about their honeymoon, Nathaniel replied, “Do you know how poor we were back then? ” He asked. “We had a honeymoon at the house. It took a while before we had our own accommodation, I moved in with my mother-in-law and our first baby was born there, ”he said.

Words of wisdom: “Our love is stronger today than it has ever been,” said Amelia. “I tell everyone that the main ingredient of a successful marriage is love. It is about giving and receiving because you are partners, both of you must learn to be flexible and above all to communicate. . Talk to each other and pray together. The main key is God because our faith in God has kept us for 60 years through all the ups and downs, and we are still here because we are devoted to each other My husband has had five surgeries and is on oxygen [daily], and I told him we were going to go [to the afterlife] together. I serve him three meals a day, on a tray with a napkin and a drink. I take good care of him like he takes care of me. I never had to pay an expense report, gas bill, electric bill or anything. We have been blessed by God through his [employer, the Dwight and Lucille Beeson Estate, where he did domestic work] 30 years old. He [God] had a ram in the bush and that was Lucille Beeson. She told us to go find a house and didn’t put a price on it. She told us to choose the house we wanted and she bought our house with no strings attached. The continuation of our story and the blessing [the Beeson’s] were to blow your mind, ”Amelia said.

“She said it all. I agree with all of this, ”Nathaniel said.

Happy forever: The Perrys have seven children: Natalie, Sandra, Nathaniel Jr., Anita, Kenny, Timothy and Terry, 24 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Amelia, 79, is from Woodlawn and Ullman High School [southside, Birmingham] diploma. Amelia feels blessed that she was able to be a stay-at-home mom raising their children and serving on several committees at their church, Greater Emmanuel Temple Holiness Church [East Lake] for 58 years.

Nathaniel, 81, is from Woodlawn and a graduate of AH Parker. He worked for the family estate of Dwight and Lucille Beeson for 30 years, and as a moulder at Stockham Valves and Fitting in Birmingham for 28 years.

The couple were members of the Greater Emmanuel Temple Holiness Church [East Lake] for 58 years. Mr. Perry served as Sunday School Superintendent for 42 years, the fellowship committee for 58 years, is the longest serving trustee on the church board, and has held numerous church service positions. Ms. Perry has been a Sunday School teacher for 58 years, Sunday School Superintendent for five years, Vice President of the Mother’s Council for 25 years, and many other church service positions.

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