Love Is Ageless: The Kilgores’ Story
on February 23rd, 2016 in Spirit | No Comments
When you have been married for many decades, certain parts of a relationship just come naturally. You begin to complete each others’ sentences perfectly, you know how to make each other smile and you learn how to tease each other without hurting feelings. But, that takes many years to perfect, as Becky and Jackson Kilgore know.
It’s not easy to get married and stay in love. It takes hard work and dedication. But, as the Kilgore’s told us in an interview, staying with it and working through the hard times is more than worth it.
Interviewer: How long have you all been married?
Becky: 32 years.
Interviewer: Where did you all meet?
Jack: In jail. She was on a work release program, believe it or not. No no, we met at a bar.
Becky: I’m a headhunter of technical recruitment. Jack’s resume came over my desk, and I had never met him or knew what he looked like. At that point I was a streaky blonde. He said, “Why don’t we meet at a bar?” It was called the Black’s House of Beef or something like that.
“I will meet you at the bar.” I told him. To talk about his career, because I wanted to move him from Washington DC to Chicago. I was looking for a logistician, and Jack was a loggie. Anyway, he said, “Why don’t we talk about this? We’ll meet at Blacky’s House of Beef in Crystal City.” I said, “Okay.” At that point I was, as I said, a streaky blonde. He had no idea what I looked like. I was late, as usual, and the bartender was blonde, so by the time that I was late, which was two hours, and he was still-
Jack: Three hours.
Becky: Three hours, and he was still there. I thought that he might run away with the bartender. That’s how we met.
Jack: I’m a firm believer that there are no coincidences in life. I was meant to be there for three hours to meet her. My life has been about super since.
MAKING IT LAST
Interviewer: What advice would you give to make a lasting relationship?
Jack: Don’t get married.
Becky: Actually, I think it’s patience. You take the good and the bad. If you love the guy, you just sort of stick with him. It’s a rocky road when you are married for a long time. It was a second marriage for Jack and me. There were a lot of issues like children merging into the family, just the whole nine yards. What would you say, Jack?
Jack: You hit it on the head. You’ve got to give and take. It’s a working relationship, and both parties have to win. You negotiate, it’s just got to be win-win. I think we’ve had that. I consider myself very lucky to have met Becky. It’s just been a grand ride. I’ve had a good time.
Interviewer: It seems like you’ve infused a little humor into the relationship as well?
Interviewer: A little reality?
Becky: We’ve had a lot of fun. As you know, Jack has Parkinson’s, so his motor skills are a little bit halting. Before it was diagnosed, Jack had a job working for AAA in its largest agency known to man: the travel agency. He used to go to trade shows representing Hertz rent a car. We were all over the world. We had a lot of fun. I’ll tell you one story though. We were going to Buenos Aires. Jack took $50 with him, that was it.
Jack: I knew there would be an ATM there.
Becky: Right. You couldn’t use the ATMs in Buenos Aires though.
Jack: I didn’t know that.
Becky: Jack had to go to the black market to get dollars so we could afford to be there. That was an adventure. We stayed at a Marriott hotel that creaked and groaned. You could just see Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in this hotel. It was wonderful.
Interviewer: That sounds like an adventure!
Jack: We had a lot of those.
Interviewer: You said you traveled the world; where have you been?
Jack: Switzerland, England.
Becky: Paris. We were in South America.
Becky: Galamander, Australia.
Interviewer: Wow. Real globetrotters.
Becky: Oh yeah.
Jack: That’s a heck of a plane ride to Australia.
Interviewer: I’ve heard. I heard it’s almost a full day to get there.
Jack: Yeah, about 24 hours.
Becky: You’re drunk by the time you get there.
Interviewer: I’m sure you needed it after a 24 hour flight.
Becky: We had a good time. In Australia we were in Sydney. That’s when Prince Charles and Diana came for a journey. In Sydney, they have the horse race. National horse race, right? They close the city down. It was wild. My nag came in last, but we sure bet on that. They were a lot of fun.
KNOW THY SPOUSE
Interviewer: What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever received from someone?
Jack: Marry that girl before she gets away.
Interviewer: That’s good advice.
Becky: We’ve been together a long time; it’s 32 years this marriage has lasted. He’s a great guy.
Jack: Here’s the answer to your question, which is so simple and obvious. How do we get along? How do we make our relationship last? How do you know you’re meant for each other? When we state our vows, it’s for better or worse. I had all these great plans to travel, to play golf around the world.
Ironically, I spend 20 years in the Army and when I got out I had 301 parachute jumps and I never had an injury. I come here and I’m walking across the living room, and I stumble and I blow out my hip. Becky has stuck with me. All the things that I used to do, I can’t do anymore. They’re both physical limiting and mental. I’m losing my memories, and she’s just picked up the load and gone forward. I’m grateful. That’s kind of how the bread is sliced.
Interviewer: What advice would you give newlyweds? Someone that’s just getting married.
Jack: Make sure it’s a 50/50 relationship.
Becky: That’s really true, I think. 50/50. We both give and take in everything.
Jack: I’ll tell you another thing that made it last. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’ve got 28 years of sobriety. That’s helped I think a little bit in keeping our relationship alive. My life was out of control. I get a great deal of joy out of life now helping men get sober. I started a little meeting here on Thursday nights. It’s something that’s been going on now for about six or seven weeks. We get seven or eight guys each Thursday night. We discuss life and how to live it to be happy addiction free. I’ve learned a lot from that, just how to enjoy life.
Becky: It’s also very spiritual. It’s nondenominational of course, but there is a spirituality of believing.
A BIT MORE HISTORY
Jack: Here’s what it’s done for me. I guess it started even before I met Becky. Once a year I would drive down for a golf tournament in North Carolina. For 18 years or so we’d meet once a year.
Becky: Probably longer than that.
Jack: It’s been a long time. I stayed at our house down there. The tournament’s called the Kilgore Gold and Debauchery Tournament. Anybody that was still standing won the golf tournament. I had my house, and I had two cousins that played and stayed at our house. Then on the house to the right, which I rented, was the sober house. The house on the left was the drunk house. I had about 12 or 15 guys down there, and I used to love going over and getting a cup of coffee, and walk over to the drunk house. Everything was in disarray. One guy’s looking for his car, he can’t remember where it was. Another guy’s in jail and waiting for someone to back him on his bail. It was wild. I’d put the coffee on, I’d walk back to the sober house. The contrast was amazing. Here in the sober house they had nothing major. They prayed, they made breakfast and everything was very orderly and nice. That was wonderful to see that contrast, I really enjoyed it. I hope one day I can go back to play one more round. It was fun.
Interviewer: You met in Washington, D.C., are you from Chicago?
Becky: I’m from Iowa.
Interviewer: Where are you from, sir?
Becky: We were both in Washington, D.C.
Jack: Northern Virginia.
Interviewer: How long have you all been in Georgia?
Becky: 8 months?
Jack: We came in July.
Interviewer: You were in DC all this time?
Even after a failed first marriage for both Becky and Jack, they were able to find love again with each other. They are yet another example of how #LoveIsAgeless. Do you have a similar story? Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook!