Toward the end of 1960, Roger and Helen Doty began their journey together.
Helen’s sister Vernie and Roger’s cousin, Bobby Thompson arranged their blind date - a drive-in movie - while Roger, who was born and raised in Chinchilla, was living in Rochester, N.Y. at the time.
“So they fixed us up,” said Helen.
“I said, ‘Sure, I’ll go. Roger came down (to see me) and I think he must have traveled 100 hundred miles per hour to get here.”
“I traveled faster going home,” Roger added with a laugh. “She doesn’t like smoking. I told Bobby, ‘There’s no way I’m going to go out with her again.”
Helen had similar sentiments at the time. “I liked him but I didn’t like the smoking part. He was trying to be very nice, but then he told his cousin he wasn’t going to go out with me again.”
Despite Roger’s nicotine habit they continued to date. He became Helen’s steady boyfriend when in 1961 he and his family moved back to the Abingtons from Rochester and lived in Milwaukee, Ransom Township.
“He just liked me,” said Helen. “We got along fine after that (the first date).”
“I got on the good side of her mom and dad,” Roger added.
They were married August 4, 1962, at the Milwaukee United Methodist Church by Helen’s sister Edie’s father-in-law, a minister. Vernie was Helen’s maid of honor and Roger’s brother, George was his best man.
“Edie sang at the wedding,” Helen said.
“Back then everything revolved around the church,” said Roger, “and singing was such an important part of our lives.” Thus, it was fitting the reception was held at the church afterward.
Helen was 24 and Roger, 28.
“I liked him and I was glad we kept on dating,” said Helen of their relationship.
They were married on a Saturday, spent their wedding night at Stonehedge Lodge and on Sunday night “we left for Worcester, Mass.”
Roger, an over-the-road truck driver for Cadden’s Moving and Storage, Scranton, at the time was scheduled to deliver a load of furniture to Worcester, Mass.
“She (Helen) went with me. The lady I worked for gave me $20 toward a wedding present to take her to Worcester. We slept in the cab of the truck all night. And it wasn’t a sleeper either. We had fun. I unloaded the furniture and we came back.”
Helen added, “I took my pillow, a newspaper and I packed a lunch. As long as we were together, I didn’t care where we went.”
Regarding the smoking issue, on their 18th wedding anniversary, Roger gave a note to Helen that read, “Honey, I quit smoking all together on August 4, our 18th anniversary. All my love, Roger.”
“He did it for love,” said Helen.
On Aug. 4, they will celebrate 51 years together and share two children: Stephen, 48 and Jill, 43, and three grandchildren.
They are both retired and spend their time together enjoying whatever they happen to be doing. Many evenings they can be found across the road from their home (Helen’s family homestead in Milwaukee) on a glider alongside the creek.
Helen said, “It’s so relaxing to listen to the crickets. We’re so content with our life and coming back here to live is a little bit of heaven.”
What advice would Helen give people who are getting married?
“Don’t smoke,” she said.
Roger added, “She tells everyone that…”