The year was 1943. While Americans danced the jitterbug wearing zoot suits, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek to plan military strategy against Japan.
The Casablanca conference opened in Morroco. Italy declared war on Germany while Rommel's Afrika Korps used the Mark VI tank to drive back American forces. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named Supreme Commander of Allied Forces for the invasion of Europe.
Theater-goers turned out in record numbers to see the new Rodgers and Hammerstein production, "Oklahoma!"
"God is My Co-Pilot," by Col. Robert L. Scott, and "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," by Betty Smith, won the adulation of the public. A new postal numbering system was inaugurated in 178 cities. The New York Yankees won the World Series despite losing players to the military draft, and the Chicago Bears bested the Washington Redskins, 41-21, for the NFL championship.
It was also the year, on June 26, that Rita and Robert "Bud" Mathews Larrimore Jr. tied the knot.
"We were married in the Blessed Sacrament Church in Baltimore City," Mrs. Larrimore said, "It's hard to believe that was 50 years ago. The years fly by so quickly!"
"We met at what is now Armco Steel," Mr. Larrimore said, "at an Army-Navy 'E' Awards dinner ["E" for efficiency] in 1942. We both worked at the site. We were married a year later."
Rita and Bud, who live in Eldersburg, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in style at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers in Westminster. Their three children, Joyce Weller of Towson, Robert Larrimore of Mount Airy and Craig Larrimore of West Virginia, cooperated to surprise their parents with a slide presentation featuring family and friends that spanned the couple's lifetime.
"We look at pictures a lot with the kids and grandchildren," Mrs. Larrimore said. "I guess we weren't paying attention, and they took the pictures with them!"
Craig Larrimore wrote a narrative about his parents' life, and used slides as illustrations.
"They all worked together on this," Mr. Larrimore said. "My daughter was mistress of ceremonies, Craig made the slide presentation and Bob videotaped the celebration."
The Larrimore family, including the three children, six grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins and many friends, enjoyed the bottom of the three-tiered anniversary cake.
"The cake was decorated with a gold 50 and lots of gold flowers," Mrs. Larrimore said. "We saved the top two layers. They're in the freezer. We can't possibly eat that much cake by ourselves, so we'll have to share it with the grandchildren."
Do the Larrimores have advice for newlyweds?
"Accentuate the positive," Mr. Larrimore said, "and work around the bad things."
"You'll have enough real problems with life that are really serious," Mrs. Larrimore said. "Don't get upset about things that really don't matter."
Congratulations, Rita and Bud! May God bless your union -- again.
The Wanting Seed, a band that plays alternative rock up and down the East Coast, will play in Millard Cooper Park in Sykesville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The concert will be the first of the Sykesville Recreation and Parks Department's 1993 Concerts in the Park series.
Admission is free and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
"These concerts are a lot of fun," said Terry Reyes, organizer of the series. "The acoustics in Millard Cooper Park are great. Many of the bands who have played there have commented on the natural acoustics, so you really do hear the music."
Last year, Ms. Reyes said, many of the people who attended the first concerts in the park brought picnics.
"It was a lot of fun for everyone, and The Wanting Seed was very popular at our music festival in June, despite 100-degree heat," she said.
The Wanting Seed, which has played at the 8x10 Club, Max's on Broadway and The Bank in Baltimore, has opened for such nationally known groups as Material Issue, The Trash Can Sinatras, The Samples, The Shoes and Dillan Fence, at The 15 Minute Club in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
"We play a lot in Philadelphia and New York," said Reid Schoenfelder, the band's guitarist and composer. "We were chosen from over 300 bands to play in the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City."
The band's name was chosen after bass player Stephen Cavano read Anthony Burgess' book of the same name.
"The book is about people being treated as absolutes, like they've done one bad thing, they must be all bad. We play songs about people, and the name seemed to fit our music," Mr. Schoenfelder said. The music usually appeals to people in their 20s to 40s.
"We play upbeat, happy, danceable music," he said. "Our singles tapes sell out wherever we put them up for sale."
The band will release its first compact disc, "Valerian," with all original work, Sept. 1.