The HERALD Sharon, PA Published Friday, Feb. 13, 1998

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    Margaret and Calvin Linn sit with their coon dog, Dick, at their home in Clarks Mills. Mrs. Linn ended up in a mud hole on a date and noted in her essay that ``if he could love me under those circumstances, it had to be the real thing.'' They will mark their 50th anniversary March 26. (David E. Dale/Herald)


    Couple bags one another on coon-hunting excursion

    [heart] By Margaret Linn, writing about her husband, Calvin

    I WAS ONLY 16 years old when I started dating the guy who is now my hubby. After a few dates, he joined the Navy for three years. We kept our friendship ``alive'' by writing letters several times a week. (Of course, boxes of cookies and other goodies probably meant more than the letters.) We started dating again when he arrived home safely.

    My Dad and brothers were great coon hunters and they had my guy enjoying the nightly hunts with them. Finally, I asked if I could go hunting. It sounded like so much fun. He quickly agreed and said we'd go by ourselves. He even let me borrow his knee boots because we could get into some pretty muddy areas.

    Off we went!! I walked and walked, asking continually, ``Where are we anyway?'' His answer, ``That's the feedmill or the neighbors lights, or out there is Route 19.'' I was lost completely every minute and just hoped some silly coon didn't get him and his dog excited and they would leave me lost in the woods forever.

    All of a sudden, he pointed across a small field and said he would meet me at the other side, and then we would go home. Sounded good to me. Clutching my flashlight, I started across the field. All of a sudden, I noticed it was pretty muddy and my boot were starting to suck deeper and deeper into the water and mud. So I decided to hurry. Oops!! Bad choice. All of a sudden, I couldn't move. The boots were stuck in the mud. What was I supposed to do? I finally got off one boot and fell flat in the swamp! That did it. I swallowed my pride and yelled for help. My boyfriend came running. He helped drag me (and his boots) out of the mud.

    After scraping some of the mud off and getting me back on dry land, he asked if I was OK. After I assured him I was fine and just wet, he said, ``Will you be mad if I laugh now?'' I wasn't mad and we laughed and laughed at ourselves as we headed for home.

    That's when I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. If he could love me under those circumstances, it had to be the real thing.

    No! I don't go coon hunting with him anymore, but wait _ soon we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary (March 26). Maybe we will go coon hunting to celebrate the big 5-0.


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    Updated Feb. 16, 1998
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