By Kelly Lafferty Kokomo Tribune
---- — Alice Parse and Myron Maish say they met by accident in March of 1951. Alice’s best friend had a date with Myron’s best friend, and she talked Alice into going on a double date. Myron, who had a previous date already scheduled, cancelled to go on the double date.
The double date location was downtown Kokomo.
“In that time, the thing to do was drive around the square,” Alice said.
Their first impressions of one another were good. Myron thought Alice was cute, and Alice thought Myron was fun.
He called her a few days later, and they began to date. Often, they would frequent the midnight shows on Saturday night in Kokomo.
“We just clicked,” Myron said. “Been clickin’ ever since.”
In May, Alice left Kokomo for several months to be a nanny, so their relationship was put on hold.
When she got back in August, Myron and Alice became exclusive. They didn’t date anyone else.
Two months later, Myron was drafted to the Army and had to leave for training.
The couple was separated yet again.
“It was kind of a series of getting together and not being together, and getting together and not being together,” Alice said.
Although they didn’t want to be apart, Myron left for Camp Breckinridge in Kentucky to train for 16 months.
“It was something we had to do,” Alice said. “We didn’t have a choice, really. At that point, the Army came first.”
Every once in a while during those 16 weeks, guys going through basic would be issued a pass on Saturday saying that they could leave for several hours, but they had to be back on Sunday night at midnight. There was a designated amount of miles they weren’t supposed to travel past, but Myron and a few other Kokomo guys ignored that guideline and would pile in a car to drive 6-7 hours to Kokomo.
Alice had no way of knowing when Myron would be coming, but once the guys got there, they only had six or seven hours to spend with their loved ones before they had to leave to make it back to Breckinridge in time.
After the 16-week training, about a year after they had that initial double date, Alice and Myron were at Cole’s gravel pit, south of Oakford, and Myron started to serenade Alice by singing, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”
“Then I slipped a ring on her finger,” he said.
Myron and Alice were engaged, and the next day Myron left for Korea.
They went a year without seeing each other.
“I envy the couples now who can talk on their cellphones to Afghanistan,” Alice said. “Back then we relied on mail and it was slow.”
They were sad to be away from one another for so long.
“It wasn’t very pleasant, but then being in Korea wasn’t very pleasant,” Myron said. “It was a cold winter.”
While Myron was overseas, Alice was a secretary at the Salvation Army.
Even though she wrote letters a lot, and Myron wrote every once in a while, there was really no way of letting her know when he’d be coming home.
“I would tell the guys that the second thing I was gonna do when I got home was set down my duffel bag,” Myron said. “I was gonna get married first.”
Myron finally came home at 6 a.m. one morning and Alice was woken up by her dad with the good news.
“There she is,” Myron thought when he saw Alice standing in her pajamas on the staircase. “She was hopping down the stairs pretty quick.”
They were married 10 days later at the Methodist Parsonage in Richmond on April 25, 1953 when Alice was 20 and Myron was 23.
“When you find the right one, you don’t have to work at it,” Myron said. “It comes natural.”
“You just better be lucky enough to find the right one,” Alice said.
They took a week honeymoon out west through Kansas and Oklahoma, then back through Tennessee and Kentucky.
After Myron got a job as a carpenter in Indianapolis, the newlywed couple moved there for five years, before moving back to Alice’s childhood home near Burlington.
Myron became a farmer there, and drove school buses for 36 years. In fact, he still is a substitute bus driver for Western and Northwestern schools.
Farming wasn’t always easy for the Maish’s. Myron had never farmed before, but Alice’s dad helped him the first few years.
“We had some pretty lean years when we were raising a family,” Myron said. “But we made it through.”
It was hard work and long hours.
“You don’t quit at four in the evening,” Myron said. “You keep going.”
With a bus route schedule thrown in the mix of things, Myron’s day-by-day life was very busy.
“It was either changing clothes to go someplace or changing clothes to go farm,” he said.
While their four children were in school, Alice worked as a secretary at Western High School. She worked there for 21 years.
These days, the Maish couple still has a lot of fun together.
They take tour bus trips to big cities fairly often, and have recently visited St. Louis, Nashville, and New Orleans.
They’ve been married for 60 years.
“I’ve been married all my life,” Myron said. “All that counts, at least.”
During those six decades of marriage, the Maish’s say they’ve loved each other and have been blessed by God.
“The Lord put us together and he’s still there,” Myron said. “When He decides we need to part, we will”
“Reluctantly,” Alice added.