February 14, 2014

Lasting Love (Celebrating 50 plus years of marriage): The Chadwells

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — To pen words from “Waitin’ On A Woman” by Brad Paisley with Andy Griffith, James T. Chadwell  was waitin’ on a woman — the right woman.

T. Chadwell was 31 when he found his bride-to-be, Mattie, 24, in the summer of 1961 and married her Feb. 19, 1962 on a Monday morning at the Manchester courthouse.

As he tells the story, she was a “pretty thing.”

“Years ago people would sell eggs and my parents were one of them. This couple in the community wanted some eggs and I delivered them. Mattie was staying there working for them and came out to get the eggs. She had been seeing this guy by the name of Luke. I asked her ‘Can I beat Luke’s time?’ She said ‘Luke don’t have any time.’ So I asked her out.”

T. picked his date up in his 1954 red and white Chevrolet Bel-Air and the couple went to Manchester just to ride around.

“I gave $350 for her (the car). She was a pretty thing. But, not as pretty as Mattie.”

Chadwell knew right away he had found the right one and a good one.

But Mattie wasn’t that impressed with T. “I didn’t think much about him at first,” she said. “But he was after me.”

After the Clay County couple married on that cold Monday morning, T. took his new bride to Danville, Ky., where he had a job.

Later they moved to Louisville, where he worked at the Paper Box Company, and she took care of the home.

By the time they moved back to London in 1971 they had two daughters, Sheila and Sherri, and Mattie was expecting another child who would also be a girl they named Carol Ann.

“The work was good in Louisville but it was about the time the riots were going on and I didn’t want to raise a family there,” he said.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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