Something old, something new

Published 10:12 am Thursday, June 30, 2011

Woman retraces wedding of beloved grandparents

Not even a flat tire on the way down to Ironton on State Route 93 could dampen the spirits of Weldon and Dixie Miller as they walked up the steps of the brownish-gold sandstone Lawrence County Courthouse to get married.

Weldon worked at the brickyard at a wide place in the road called Pyro in Jackson County. It was summer and now Weldon was ready to spend the rest of his life with his Dixie.

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That was July 18, 1941, and for 64 years they lived as happily ever after as those not ensconced in a fairytale can.

“They loved each other so much,” Grace Baisden, their granddaughter, recalled.

It was a love affair Baisden saw firsthand as she and her first cousin, Stephanie, would be driven down each summer from their Norwalk homes near Sandusky to spend their vacation with their grandparents.

“We were way out in the country. We had a three-wheeler,” Baisden said. “My grandmother bought us a trailer for a playhouse, a regular-sized trailer for a playhouse. She gave us everything we wanted.”

One thing that was a tradition for each of those summers was a trip all four made every July 18, when they went back to the courthouse to cherish again the memories of that special wedding day.

“We would go inside and walk up the steps,” Baisden said. “It was so enjoyable for them to go back to where they got married. And every year grandpa would tell us the story of how on the way down they had a flat tire. It always meant a lot to us.”

So much so that in about three weeks Baisden will recreate history when she and her fiancé, Eric Leibold, plan to drive down from Norwalk, to get married in the same spot and on the same date Baisden’s grandparents tied the knot six decades ago.

“It is something that has always meant a lot to me,” she said. “I had such wonderful grandparents.”

Coming down on the four-hour trip from Norwalk, near Sandusky, will be Lauranell Miller Baisden, Baisden’s mother and daughter of Weldon and Dixie. It will be a ceremony short on pomp but infused with sentiment.

“I am probably wearing a white dress, something plain and simple,” Baisden said. “I’m not a fancy person. I don’t want a big wedding. It’s the date and the place that mean everything to me. That is what my memories are. I had such wonderful grandparents.”