Forty-nine years ago today, Ray and I had our first date. We took these pictures a few days later . . .
. . . and these a few days after that.
Ray and I were married almost ten months after that first date on March 1.
Today we plan to do what we do every year on March 1–celebrate! March 1 is our “September Saturday.” In Shirley Temple’s 1935 movie Our Little Girl, she and her parents celebrate two special days each year–a May Saturday and a September Saturday. The threesome packs a picnic lunch and goes to the bank of a pretty creek in the woods, a spot they call Heaven’s Gate.
Shirley’s father is a busy doctor who spends too much time working. His pretty nurse is devoted to his work and is in love with him. At home Shirley’s mother is lonely and slowly falls in love with her husband’s best friend, who has plenty of time for her. Eventually she tells her husband that she is going to marry his friend.
Shirley learns about her mother’s plans. On the date of their annual September Saturday, she decides to run away to celebrate it anyway. She packs her own picnic lunch and leaves for Heaven’s Gate alone. When her parents learn that she is missing, they both search for her and find her at Heaven’s Gate. There the three become a family again.
While it’s true that Shirley Temple is almost always cast in the role of a little girl who fixes the adults around her—a role that no child should ever have to play in real life—the lessons in Our Little Girl are profound:
- Working so much that we neglect our families is dangerous.
- Spending time alone with members of the opposite sex is dangerous.
- Fathers, mothers, and their children loving one another and staying together is the right thing to do.
So Ray and I will continue to celebrate our “September Saturday” each March 1 because:
“What therefore God has joined together,
let no man separate.”