WESLACO — That’s the girl I’m gonna marry.
This is what Raymond Davis, thought to himself as he saw the woman who would be his wife, Margaret, walking down a street in their hometown one day.
On Friday, Feb. 7, more than a quarter of a century later, a local manufactured home and RV park in Weslaco, Rio Valley Estates, helped Raymond, 95, and Margaret Davis, 93, celebrate their 75 years of marriage. The couple has traveled from Bassett, Nebraska, to Rio Valley Estates in Weslaco every year since 1990, spending the winter and spring months in the Rio Grande Valley and growing to love the region.
“I felt like this is something that should be recognized,” said Joyce Amos, a resident of Rio Valley Estates and close friend of Raymond and Margaret. “Seventy-five years doesn’t happen very often.”
As dozens of friends filled the Rio Valley Estates clubhouse, Raymond and Margaret took a moment before the celebration to recall the moment they first met in 1943.
“I had been working a mile out of town. I had a younger sister who was in town and going to high school. Margaret, she was in the high school in a town east of us, but they moved her,” Raymond recalled. “It was during the war. My sister said, ‘We got a new girl in town, and would you like to meet her?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ So here she comes walking down the street, and I said, ‘That’s the girl I’m gonna marry.’”
“Yes, he told me that. I can’t believe it,” Margaret added with a laugh. “And he wasn’t bad looking. He had cool black hair, beautiful hair… He was pretty dang good looking. All the good girls would look at him, and he’d just walk right by. They’d stop and want to talk to him, and I’d just go right on by, and he’d just leave them and follow me. That used to be so funny though I didn’t care.”
A few months after the couple began dating, Raymond was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944.
He said that he was given three months to get his affairs in order before he was to report to basic training in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“One of my affairs was to get married,” Raymond said.
The two were married on June 11, 1944, and the rest is history, as they say. When asked what the keys to a long and happy marriage are, Margaret had a simple answer.
“Be decent to each other,” Margaret said.
“Work things out together,” said Raymond.
“I say what I think, and he listens,” added Margaret.
The Davises said their marriage has been full of ups and downs, as they recalled their lives on their Nebraska farm, working from morning to night, and raising their three children, Sharon, Danny and Connie, two of whom were present at the diamond celebration.
Sharon and Connie live in Bassett, Nebraska, as well, and they travel with their parents and spend the months of October through April at Rio Valley Estates.
“It’s been kind of amazing, actually, when you think about it,” Connie said of their marriage. “The most amazing part is that they’re both equally so healthy and they just enjoy life.”
When asked what they have to look forward to now, after 75 years of marriage, Raymond said, “Shoot for 80.”
“We’ve had a great life,” Margaret said. “We’ve had a fabulous life.”