LAURINBURG- New Year’s Eve 1944 was a night of firsts for Molly Cherry.
The 16-year-old was wearing her first pair of high heels to go on a first chaperoned date with future husband, Geoffrey Taylor.
But her efforts at sophistication fell flat and so did she.
“The heels were probably three or four inches,” the Scotia Village resident said with a laugh. “I got them for Christmas 1943 … trying to be so impressive and stumbled.”
The memory also brings a smile to the face of Geoffrey Taylor. As the couple prepares to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the 91-year-old said it is just one of many happy times they have shared over nearly 70 years of marriage.
The Taylors credit a willingness compromise for keeping their long-time marriage intact.
“We certainly have not agreed 100 percent on everything,” said Molly, who is 90.”If you’ve got two people who are alive you’re going to have different thoughts on things. You have to have compromise and communication.”
“And love,” Geoffrey added. “Love conquers all.”
No compromise at all was needed on the importance of love.
“Love.. that’s true,” Molly said. “That’s a good one.”
Geoffrey proposed on Christmas Eve 1947 and the two were married on May 8, 1948, in a big wedding. Geoffrey had just reached 22 and Molly turned 21 shortly after the nuptials.
“We were smitten as they would have said in those days and just happy to be together,” said Geoffrey, who was born in Great Britain, but moved to moved to Pennsylvania when he was 3.
As they talked, Molly brought out several black and white photos from wedding and the late 40s.
“We both looked a great deal better in those days,” Molly said.
Their wedding was held at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham — the same church where the couple first met. The reception was at the Washington Duke Hotel.
“That was so important to me to have a hoop skirt,” Molly said as she looked at an old photo from the wedding day. “I was too short … I should not have and my daddy made all kinds of fun of me.”
Molly was born and raised in Durham and attended Greensboro College. Geoffrey came to Duke University as part of the Navy ROTC program.
Geoffrey has two engineering degrees from Duke but later in life decided to become a CPA.
Molly worked in the Public Information Office at Duke and as a feature writer and women’s editor for several newspapers.
Together they have lived in Lancaster Penn, Arlington VA, Annandale VA, before retiring to Whispering Pines in the 90s. The two moved to Scotia Village in 2010.
Both their parents had long marriages, and the couple hopes to pass the family tradition on. They have a son and a daughter; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
“The couples stayed together … no divorces,” Molly said. “That is important. We hope that sets an example for our children and I think it will.”
The Taylors have been asked many times if they plan renew their wedding vows.
Geoffrey gives the same answer to questioners: “It took so well the first time, we don’t need to do it again.”
Reach Katelin Gandee 910-506-3171