Elizabeth “Beth” McLundie Bolton is from Alexandria, Louisiana; she had graduated from college, was working at D.H. Holmes in New Orleans as a computer programmer and was living with one of her best friends from college, Ginger Witherspoon. Robert “Bobby” Hassinger was getting his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Tulane, and he got a call to play bridge one night with Beth and her friends. After the blind date, Bobby told a friend that he was going to marry Beth! They dated for two years when Bobby gave Beth an engagement ring on her birthday.
They were married four months later in Alexandria at 11 a.m. at the Emmanuel Baptist Church. The reception for about 500 friends and family was at Beth’s parents’, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harvey Bolton’s, home. Only champagne could be served, but Mrs. Bolton set up a bar outside for all of the friends from New Orleans.
Beth’s dress was from Neiman Marcus and was a candlelight peau de soie gown accented with imported Alençon lace. Her veil was of silk illusion. She carried a cascade of lilies of the valley and stephanotis.
Her bridesmaids’ dresses were from Neiman Marcus as well, and were pumpkin alaskine (a silk/wool blend) with empire bodices, short ruffled sleeves and matching hats made of tiered double ruffles. They carried cascades of cymbidium orchids in shades of gold and bronze.
After the reception, Beth and Bobby went up to change because they were taking a private plane to Dallas. Bobby came out with chains on his wrists and legs. They left in a state police car to keep friends from following them and Bobby told the pilot to be sure to bring a hack saw. (You can imagine the tricks that Bobby must have played on his friends for them to respond this way.)
When they got off of the private plane and onto a regular flight, Beth still didn’t know where they were going until they were at the gate: Hawaii. After the honeymoon they opened presents for about 10 days and then decided to go to Africa for two months because they would never have this much time again, once they each started new jobs upon their return.
Beth and Bobby have been married for 51 years and their three daughters – Bessie Van Horn, Cathy Drennan and Mary Schmidt – held a 50th anniversary party for them at Mary’s home last year. They have 10 grandchildren who all live in New Orleans.