The Time-Traveling Married Couple

Using some sort of time-traveling device, people have long been fascinated with the idea of traveling in time to another era .  I confess to a love of historical dramas and period pieces such as the PBS series Downton Abbey. I muse it would be interesting to travel back to the early 1800s and meet some of my ancestors either in the US or in Europe.

Fantasy travel aside, I felt as if we were a time-traveling married couple this week when both of us required government documentation of our marriage. It turned out quite easy to locate our certificate of marriage, but as I perused it, I discovered quite an error. The humor in the discovery had me filled with fits of laughter. Imagine getting married before we were even born! An impossible feat! Off by some 93 years! We started doing the math to learn that our parents would have married quite young at ages ten and eleven.

Instead of 1923 as our certificate of marriage stated, we were actually married some 60 years later. After researching events of 1923, I read some interesting facts. Warren G. Harding was President of the US until his death on August 2 when Calvin Coolidge became President. Yankee Stadium opened its doors. The Walt Disney Company was founded. Women started to wear one piece bathing suits. The cost of a first-class stamp was $.02 and federal spending was 3.14 billion. William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Charles Lindbergh had his first solo flight. Bread was $.12 a loaf and milk cost $33. for a half gallon. A four door Model T Ford sedan cost $725. Sears catalog featured homes to build yourself at approximately $2000-2500.

When my parents married in 1941, they purchased a large colonial home on Flynt Avenue in Monson, Massachusetts which had been owned by two maiden aunts.   The home was purchased fully furnished and with a grand piano for approximately $4000. My father added electricity and indoor plumbing. With high ceilings and two stories, it was spacious for a growing family. After they sold that house, we moved to Cedar Street in Sturbridge which my father built. I loved the fireplaces in the basement and on the first floor. By the time my parents sold this house to move to Colorado, our family now had three girls with a fourth girl on the way. What adventures we had on rainy days in that house and attic and in the play house my father built us out back.

When the certified copies of our marriage certificate arrive, they will hopefully reflect the corrected date of our wedding. Meanwhile, we are a time-traveling married couple living adventures of our own. I wonder where others would travel if they had a time-travel machine?

M A age 20001









This entry was posted in time-travel machine, marriage certificate, 1923 history, cost of living, Downton Abbey, US Presidents, Walt Disney, Yeats, Nobel Prize for Literature, Charles Lindbergh, Yankee Stadium Model T Ford and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Time-Traveling Married Couple

  1. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann, this is a lovely post and you have me laughing at the beginning – the time travelling couple! Only now to discover the error on your marriage certificate! What a great collection of events and information from 1923 – it brought it all to life and real. Would that have been in the middle of the Great Depression? What wonderful family photos – did your mother have a sister and five brothers? I see more clocks at the top. Are they all yours? No backward ones this time! Personally I always wanted to visit the 1960s – love the clothes, so many big world events, space travel, great writers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The photos and clocks are all ours. I think in the US, we refer to the Stock Market crash of 1929 as the beginning of the Great Depression so I chose other events around 1923. It is my father who had four brothers and one sister. My mother had only one sister. I used a photo of the two of them in a blog in the past. The 1960s was, I suppose, my era since I was in college and then in Germany. I recall mini skirts but when I returned from Germany in 1966, I wore a fashionable pant suit which was not yet in style in the US and had just been the rage in Germany. My mother always claimed that it took fashion about five years to catch up in this country. I recall teaching German at Tennessee Technological University starting in 1967. Female faculty members were required to wear skirts and dresses. You can imagine I found that annoying after wearing a pant suit back from Germany. I challenged the rule but gave the Dean notice that I would be teaching in a pant suit on campus one cold, snowy evening. He came by to check and said I looked just fine! Imagine that happening today! I think all that has changed with technology. Thank you for such a nice comment which also brought back memories.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I know at least three people with birthdays or names different (maybe by a few letters or digits but still) to those on their original birth certs! Yours is great though! Human errors!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. JM says:

    This column is just fantastic.


  4. Emily says:

    I loved this blog post especially the stories and little historical facts, nice job!
    The pictures are wonderful as well I really enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom says:

    The time-traveling married couple! Fun story and that’s a nice memento to have.

    Liked by 1 person

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