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70th anniversary: Jim and Bonnie Bowden
Jim and Bonnie Bowden will celebrate their 70th anniversary on Feb. 27.
The pair ran away to get married in Reno on Feb. 27, 1944.
Bonnie Stevenson was 18, but Jim Bowden was just three days shy of turning 17.
Bonnie's sister Edna was married to Jim's brother John (John C Bowden), so when Edna wrote a permission slip for Jim to get married at 17, she legally signed his mother's name, Mrs. John C Bowden, because it happened to be her name as well.
Once married, they came home to face the music and, more importantly, Bonnie's father, Charley Stevenson.
Jim had to ride to work with Charley, but it was a considerable amount of time before Charley would speak to him again.
Time passed, tensions eased, and eventually Jim and Charley became the best of friends.
Both were born in Arkansas but lived most of their lives in the same house in Grimes.
Bonnie attended Pierce High School. Jim was employed with the late Frank Gobel in a land-leveling business in Williams, then formed his own such business with his late brother, John.
Now 70 years later, the Bowdens are celebrating a lifetime together. Their home in Grimes was shelter for many people through the years. Teenagers congregated there in the 1960s when their daughters Ann (Krouse) and Kathy (Craigo) were growing up. No young person was turned away. Anyone who came to the door was usually fed if they were hungry.
Some of Jim's siblings (Bob, Jesse and Betty) lived with the couple from time to time.
The couple have 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
Jim and Bonnie love cards and cherish getting them more than most. Friends of the family are welcome to send cards to them at PO Box 192, Grimes, CA 95950.