It was love at first sight for Pat and Lou Brown

Published 10:14am Monday, February 13, 2012

The other day I visited with an elderly couple and, once again, heard the story of how they met, married and spent the rest of their lives together.

I discovered a cassette on which I’d recorded an interview with this couple 30 years ago. I listened to the voices of Pat and Lou Brown again. My mother-in-law, Marie White, took me to the Brown farm in Beda Community just before Valentine’s Day.

Mr. Pat and Mis’ Lou celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary in 1982. For the two of them, it was love at first sight. Mis’ Lou graduated from Opp High School in 1918 and went on to complete a course of study at Troy Teacher’s College in 1920.

She was among three women chosen from hundreds of applicants to teach school in a Cajun community near Mobile under the Southern Baptist Missionary Board. They took turns traveling horseback 11 miles into the nearest town to pick up the mail. One summer day in 1923, Lou rode up to the sawmill town’s commissary.

She saw Pat sitting in a rocker reading The Mobile Register.

“The minute I laid my eyes on him, I knew I would marry that man,” she said. Lou recalled telling the other teachers that she didn’t know his name, but she he was the one she was going to marry. In the spring of 1924, one of the other teachers had date with a young man who asked his friend, Pat Brown, to come along because Pat had a car.

“When Pat walked in the door, I just purely nearly fainted…I knew the Lord sent him and in two weeks we were married.” She remembered they went to Mobile and a federal judge tied the knot. The couple eventually bought a house and 420 acres where they raised seven children in the Beda/Pleasant Home Community.

The day of our visit, I was a newlywed of barely three years compared to the Brown’s marriage of 57 years. So I asked for their advice on the subject. Lou and her “precious darling,” or “my love,” as she called him, had experienced the joys and sorrows through years of hard times, hard work and lasting love.

A marriage founded on Bible principles is the secret to a happy life, according to Lou, and communication between a man and wife means “everything.” Mis’ Lou wrote regular newspaper column called “My Country Roads,” some of which were published in a book by that title in 1979.

She wrote about hearing husbands being described as the presidents and the wives as the vice presidents. “It’s plain that the vice president is two or three button holes lower than the president, especially if the vice president is a conservative and is plain spoken.”

Mis Lou added, “I’ve had to eat crow and beg forgiveness so many times in my married life that it’s easy for me to fall on my knees and say, ‘forgive me.” She mentioned Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Her words of wisdom speak timeless truth. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to know Pat and Lou!

To share your memories of the Browns, please email White at jwhite@andycable.com.

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