Aug. 7, 1961, Danny Tennant, a senior at Marshall University and son of Adrian and Hattie Tennant of 38th Street, and Carolyn Sue Buckley, a freshman at Mountain State College and daughter of Dexter and Helen Buckley of 36th Street, paid $85 to charter a three-seat single-engine Piper Cub to fly from Stewart Airport in Parkersburg and land on an asphalt coal mining strip in Lebanon, Va.
Upon arrival, the pilot called the only cab in town driven by a kind man named Mr. Stoots. Upon hearing their wish to be married, he assisted Danny and Sue with expediting their bloodwork at the hospital by contacting a nurse he knew, as well as helping them obtain a marriage license at the courthouse. Along the way they picked up Mr. Stoots’ wife and the four of them drove to the Lebanon Baptist Church where Danny and Sue were married in the parsonage by the Rev. Fred Harcum.
Mr. and Mrs. Stoots happily served as witnesses. The pilot waited for them at the mining strip and flew them back over the Appalachian Mountains to Parkersburg afterward, with Danny and Sue bursting with excitement at their elopement. They were gone only five hours and since no one was the wiser, decided to keep it their own little romantic secret. That was Day One of their Happily Ever After story.
Sixty years later they are even deeper in love and the proud parents of daughters Shay Haynes (Mike) and Shana Smith (Robb), as well as adoring grandparents to Collin, Kate, Abby, Ryan and Madelyn. They now reside in metro Atlanta, but “Almost Heaven, West Virginia” will always be the place they consider their true home. Dan and Sue/Mom and Dad/Mammy and Pappy: YOU ARE LOVED BEYOND MEASURE! Aug. 7, 2021: Happy 60th Anniversary to two shining examples of true love!