Picture this: 75 years of marriage. That’s what Freda and Glen Wall of Pleasanton will celebrate Monday.
“We were so young,” said Glen, who at 95 looks two decades younger. “We didn’t know any better.”
In fact, the groom was just 20 and the bride was 19.
“I didn’t formally propose,” Glen said. “We just thought it was a good idea, and Freda was the only girl I ever went out with.”
Sitting on a sofa together in a quiet neighborhood in Pleasanton where they have lived since 1981, Freda and Glen reminisced about their lives and years together.
And yes, they shared the secret to a long and happy marriage, but for that you’ll have to keep reading.
Born Freda Rose Brandenburger in 1918, Freda moved to California when she was about 7. Glen’s family followed a few years later when he was about 13.
“During the Depression I worked in the fields for Japanese farmers,” said Glen. “We picked cucumbers and tomatoes and our pay at the end of the day was a bag of vegetables.”
Glen recalls owning two Model T’s and a 1928 Chevrolet. “I owned three cars and that made me one of the richest kids,” he joked. Of course, a person could buy a Model T for $5 or $10 back then, he said. Glen’s older brother got a Model A for free when a friend didn’t need it anymore.
“After we got married, I was making $30 a month working in a service station, and Freda rented us an apartment for $15 a month,” said Glen. The rent was too
expensive, so they only stayed two months, eventually moving into a trailer behind Glen’s parents’ home.
In July 1938, the couple welcomed into their lives Joyce Wall Schilling, their only child.
During World War II, Glen served as an Army mechanic. Freda worked in an avocado plant and grocery deli for many years.
In time, Glen and his brother opened a successful custom car lot in South Gate in Southern California. The brothers entered the market at just the right time and outfitted American cars with popular custom accessories.
After moving to Pleasanton in 1981, Glen worked for 22 years as a machinery supervisor for Air Factors Lok Technologies. He finally retired at age 86 when the company relocated.
Freda volunteered for many years with Hope Hospice in its thrift store and until recently was a regular visitor to the Pleasanton Senior Center.
The Walls’ names can be found carved into a permanent red brick along Main Street in Pleasanton near the iconic arch in appreciation for their donation to the Museum on Main.
Today, Freda and Glen cherish their daughter, two granddaughters, five great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. After 75 years of marriage, they remain a happy and loving couple.
And according to Freda, the secret to a happy marriage is “Keep your mouth shut and take separate vacations once in a while.”
Ott, Jim. “Around Pleasanton: How to stay married AND happy for 75 years” Mercury News. 23 August 2012. Web.
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