top of page


I have known my friend, Susan Harvey Culler, AKA “Ruby Susan,” since I was nine years old. I

can prove it. I have a picture of Susan at my ninth birthday party. I have known her husband,

Paul Culler, since I was seventeen. So 60 years for her, 52 for him.

On June 30, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

In high school, Susan and I were founding members of our girl gang, The Rubies, along with

Mary Ann Detrick. Other Rubies were Susan Spicer and Monica Van Zile. We added Angie

Baker during our senior year.

Susan met Paul during some questionable activities on our part which involved riding around

the courthouse square of a nearby town in Mary Ann’s grandmother’s old car, which looked

and rode something like a hearse. It was the only way to meet new guys when you lived in a

town as small as ours. Susan, Mary Ann and I met a lot of guys this way. But Paul was the only

one who stuck around.

We weren’t too sure about Paul at first. He seemed to have a lot of ideas about what Susan

should and shouldn’t be doing. Like dying her hair, etc. None of his damn business! However,

as time passed, I came to realize that some of this was Susan telling a good tale. Paul is a

wonderful guy, and he takes good care of my Ruby. That’s all I ask.

Susan and Paul were married the summer after my first year in college. I made a bad mistake,

coming home that summer after a year of freedom at Northwestern. I never did that again.

But I wouldn’t have missed that wedding for anything.

Ruby, feel free to correct me about anything I get wrong. I have no doubt that you will, and at

least then I’ll know you read this! I think Susan had two bridesmaids, Angie and a college friend

Linda from her year at Purdue. Either Monica or Mary Ann was in charge of the guest book.

I’m not sure I did much of anything except show up, but I was driving my first-ever car in the

bridal procession afterwards. It was a used Chevy Nova, and without it I never would have

survived that summer in Garrett. I had two part-time jobs, my own car, and my friends were

getting married. If that didn’t make me an adult, what did?

Here’s what I do remember, and Ruby, you’re not going to talk me out of it.

Susan tossed her bridal bouquet. Thud. Yes, that thud was the sound of a bouquet of flowers hitting the floor. Susan may have been ready to get married. The rest of us were not.

“You guys!” Susan shrieked. “You’re ruining my wedding!” Guilty looks exchanged. “Now I’m

going to throw this again, and one of you had BETTER CATCH IT!!!”

I think Angie then took one for the team. Not sure. But she was dating a friend of Paul’s at the

time, and they were married soon afterwards, so it’s a good guess. I ignored the second toss as

thoroughly as I did the first. At that time, I was convinced I was NEVER going to get married.

Well, I was wrong about that. Ernie and I were married 46 years last March, so we’re looking at

the Golden one in four years. I hope. Most people are astonished when they hear how long

we’ve been married. Then they usually say we’re the only people they know who’ve been married that long.

Well, I don’t have to say that. I know Susan and Paul. They will be doing their favorite thing on

their anniversary: fishing. Sigh. But at least their kids also gave them three days at a lovely

place in Traverse City, Michigan, one of the most beautiful places in the world, or at least in the


Happy Anniversary, my old and dear friends. Many, many more.


bottom of page