By Marilyn Shock
Raymond and Emogene Brown, of Greenbrier, celebrated 75 years of marriage on Sept. 20. With that many years, there is surely a story to tell.
Raymond followed the old advice of many before him — "go west young man."
At the age of 17, he set out for California. It was working quite well for him when he packed up his dreams and headed west. Raymond quickly started to make his dreams a reality when he became a professional golfer.
In 1938, he was on the Los Angeles Country club scene and getting ready to start his career on the PGA tournament tours. It was then he received a call about his mother’s health and returned to Arkansas.
At that time, Emogene was working at a local café’ in Little Rock. And as fate would have it, Raymond found himself walking in the door of the establishment, and as his eyes gazed upon her, as he tells it, that moment he knew this was the girl for him.
For Raymond, it was love at first sight. He never returned to live in California. The couple married on Sept. 20, 1941, and after only one month, he was called for active duty during World War II. After returning from the war, they started their family and stayed in Little Rock where the couple lived for more than 45 years. They had five children during this time and raised them in Little Rock before moving to Greenbrier about 28 years ago.
Raymond loves telling the story of how he met Emogene and wanted to give her the world. He was quite the young dapper in his day, so even though she was so young, he swept her off her feet. That’s how their story began.
Raymond will turn 98 on Oct. 1 and Emogene is 91. Their family has grown from five children, to 11 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. After moving to Greenbrier, Raymond retired from Southwestern Bell Telephone Company after working with the company for more than 40 years. The couple calls Greenbrier their home to this day. Emogene was a stay-at-home mother who raised her five children and then took on the responsibility of caring for three of her grandchildren who also attended Greenbrier Schools. She says she thinks that might be part of what kept her young.
Emogene has become quite famous on Facebook over the last years where she is known as "Miss. Daisy," a name coined by one daughter who post often about "Driving Miss Daisy." Emogene no longer drives, but is quick to let you know she recently renewed her driver’s license. Greenbrier neighbors and friends find her several times a week in the isles of Walmart or nearby shopping areas. She is still doing what she has done for years — caring for her family.
Emogene might be a little slower but still is strong and independent. Raymond who suffered a fall a few years back is no longer able to get out and cut limbs or keep the acreage mowed. But at 92 before his fall, he was still going strong. His son has now has taken over maintaining the yard. Even though he is no longer able to take care of outside jobs, he still reads the newspaper daily. He has a Facebook page and keeps up with current events.
Never the less, he is always ready to try and help the woman he fell in love with 75 years ago while she does her best to cook for him and take care of his needs. Through the ups and downs, ins and outs the Browns stayed in for the long haul. For it can be said of this generation: "If it’s broke you don’t cast it aside. You fix it!"