Trussville couple celebrates 60 years of marriage
By June Mathews
For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — When Herbert Moore first laid eyes on Shirley Ann Rickard back in the spring of 1954, he was instantly smitten.
Newly discharged from a stint in the Army, which included a tour of duty in Korea, Herbert was ready to settle down. He saw in Shirley a potential partner in domestic bliss.
But what did she think of him? Not much.
For one thing, she was seeing someone else, a young man she was planning to marry. Then Herbert had the nerve to tell her “what that guy doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” in an effort to convince her to give him a chance.
“I didn’t think that was very nice,” Shirley said.
But a friend finally talked her into going out with Herbert – their first date was to the old Starlite Drive-In near the future site of Eastwood Mall – and that was all it took. Less than five months after they met, the young couple married in a small ceremony at the home of her pastor in Woodlawn.
Since the newlyweds were able to take only the weekend off, they honeymooned locally, spending their wedding night at Wigwam Village a few miles south of Bessemer on U.S. Highway 11.
“It was my choice,” said Shirley, fondly remembering the quirky roadside motel with rooms shaped like teepees. “I thought it was unique.”
That Saturday afternoon, Herbert opted to take Shirley to the stock car races, which in her opinion made for a less-than-romantic outing.
“I had to sit on that hard bleacher,” she said, still wincing at the discomfort she experienced that day. “I was a miserable new bride.”
Despite its rather dubious beginning, however, the marriage thrived, and on Sept. 3, the Moores celebrated their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary.
Considering they’ve been married so long, people often ask them to reveal the secret of their marital success. One or the other will jokingly respond, “We told each other early on that if either of us left, that person had to take the boys and the dogs with them.”
But truthfully, they say, it’s simply been a matter of taking their marriage vows seriously. When asked by their pastor if they wanted to renew their vows at their 50th anniversary celebration, Herbert responded, “Mine aren’t broken.”
A decade later, those vows remain intact, even though the Moores have suffered their share of illnesses and heartaches over the years.
“Through all our struggles, we have had God to hang onto, and He has never failed or forsaken us,” said Shirley. “To God be the glory for all our blessings these 60 years.”
Herbert is retired from Chicago Bridge & Iron; Shirley, from BellSouth. The couple has two sons, Neal and Gregory. Shirley is a 46-year breast cancer survivor.
Residents of Trussville since 1989, the Moores are regulars at the Trussville Senior Activity Center, as well as members of Deerfoot Baptist Church.