Honeymoon and Homecoming

Posted on October 24, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Okay, so it has been a long time since our actual honeymoon, but speaking engagements last week in Northwest Arkansas did provide the opportunity to spend a couple of nights at Petit Jean State Park where we spent our honeymoon many, many years ago. To say we are still honeymooning after almost 46 years of marriage would not be too much of an exaggeration.

We arrived home in time to join the homecoming festivities at Mississippi College. I can remember as a student watching the 40 and 50-year reunion classes, an impression of old codgers hobbling around campus. I thought, “Iʼm not going to be that guy!” But my image has changed now that I am one of them, and it was delightful to see former classmates from long ago and revive suppressed memories of our student days.

This year was Bobbyeʼs 45th class reunion so it was a special time of fellowship with several of her college girlfriends (pictured). It was a festive time of tailgating, campus displays, alumni luncheons and watching Mississippi College beat Howard Payne 34-27. The parade and ballgame brought back memories of Bobbye being homecoming queen years ago as pictured with her court in this dated photo.

We were married in the middle of the winter on January 22, 1966 in Clinton, MS as soon as Bobbye finished her final exam and graduated a semester early. I had entered Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth the previous fall and we had only four days to get back to start classes. Looking for a romantic, recondite location somewhat between Mississippi and Texas resulted in the honeymoon at Petit Jean. I donʼt recall seeing any other guests at that time of year with snow on the ground, but our cozy cabin and fireplace, built by the CCC back during the 1930s, was ideal for the occasion.

Not much had changed though the cabins have been modernized. We were a little early for the changing leaves but the overlooks from the bluffs, stunning sunsets and walking trails were delightful at this time of the year.

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