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Vince Staten: ‘Hitching the knot’ turned out well for Bob and Doris Miller

VINCE STATEN • May 23, 2013 at 11:29 PM

RAF Mosquitos were bombing the German capital of Berlin.

In the Pacific Theater, the Japanese were caught in a trap on the Alaskan island of Attu in the Battle of Massacre Bay.

And Bob Miller was trying to get married.

Things didn’t turn out so well for the Germans or the Japanese.

But they turned out swimmingly for Bob and Doris Miller.

And tomorrow the couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Baysmont Great Room.

Bob and Doris had been dating for six years before finally, as Bob puts it, “hitching the knot.” “Doris and I met in 1937 at a church conference ground near Hendersonville, N.C. She was 15 at the time and I’d just finished my sophomore year at Erskine College. We went together for six years until I got my commission in the Navy in 1943. I then thought I was rich enough to get married.”

They “hitched the knot” on May 22, 1943.

The Census Bureau says only six percent of couples celebrate their 50th anniversary, so you can imagine how rare a 70th anniversary is.

You need both spouses to have good health. It helps to marry young.

Bob says there are two other things that have contributed to their longevity together. “Both of us come from families with strong family ties and we are both committed Christians. Those are the major reasons.”

Bob has had an interesting life. You may recall he was the one who got barber Claude Russell on Claude’s promise of a free haircut if you brought your dad in with you on your 90th birthday. Bob took in his dad’s ashes.

So I asked Bob if he had written his memoirs. “As a matter of fact, I have. Many years ago one of our sons kept pestering me to write up items about my history. I kept saying I would but never did. Then one year he gave me a computer software program entitled, ‘Memories.’ It asks you 500-600 questions and if you answer these, you automatically write a biography. Over the years I have added to it and now have about 45 pages — single spaced — of biographical information. I’m glad he did and that I have done it.”

Bob and Doris remain active. You may remember I noted in a recent column that Bob, who is 94, had gone down the zip line at Bays Mountain.

So I have marked May 22, 2018, on my calendar. That’s when I plan to wish Bob and Doris a happy 75th wedding anniversary.


Good news from the Kingsport Animal Shelter.

Three of the eight kittens mentioned in my Mother’s Day column have found new homes. The calico Juliet was adopted over the weekend. And Tiny Tim and Tina found new homes on Monday.

The eight kittens had been sharing two mothers, Pandora and Cookie, an extraordinary relationship in cat circles.

And the circle of life continues.

Ginger Smith at the Shelter tells me as soon as those three kittens went out, two more kittens came in without a mother.

“So even though three of their babies were adopted, they inherited two more to care for. And of course, they took them right in as if they were their own. They are both such great mothers.”

Ginger says the kitty food shortage has abated. “We have had a ton of food brought in. One day alone we got five 20-pound bags.”


It’s a big weekend for old car lovers. Let me rephrase that: It’s a big weekend for lovers of old cars. (The lovers may or may not be old although in most cases they are.)

The Kingsport Antique and Rod Club will be holding its annual cruise-in at the Kingsport Town Center from 6 until 9:30 p.m. today.

Gates will open for The Wilderness Trail Car Show at 3 p.m. Saturday at the train station in downtown Kingsport. Cars are allowed in this show by invitation only.

One of the featured cars at the cruise-in tonight will be a 1953 Cadillac convertible, “Root Beer Float,” that was shown at this year’s Detroit Autorama. The car was built and will be shown by Chris Ryan of 96, S.C. And yes, there is a town in South Carolina named 96.

And no, nobody knows for sure where the town got its name.

Contact Vince Staten at vincestaten@timesnews.net or via mail in care of this newspaper. Voicemail may be left at 723-1483. His blog can be found at vincestaten.blogspot.com.

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