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- [S27] The Daily Times, http://www.thedailytimes.com/, (Blount County, Tennessee), 14 Feb 2016.
'They said it wouldn't last': Clabos celebrate 70th anniversary
By Linda Braden Albert email@example.com
A young sailor meets a girl in a club in Boston during World War II. He was from Sevierville; she was from Boston. When they married shortly after meeting, families and friends were doubtful they’d stay together.
Seventy years later, Newell and Louise E. Clabo can look back at the doubters and laugh.
“And they said it wouldn’t last!” Louise said shortly before an anniversary celebration hosted by Brookdale Browns Creek on Crest Lane in Maryville, where the couple now reside.
Louise recalled the day she and Newell met — Oct. 18, 1945.
“A whole gang of us girls went to this popular club for a birthday party,” she said. “We saw the ship dock that day, so who comes in but him and his friends. We got to talking. Before you know it, we’re going out together. He came home in December — he got out of the service. Then in January, we got married.”
That was on Jan. 29, 1946. “They said it wouldn’t last because he’s a Rebel and I’m a Yankee. But that’s how we met,” Louise said.
Newell said he was attracted to Louise immediately. “I liked the way she looked, and it turned out when I talked to her, that I liked the way she talked. She was a first-generation Italian.
“I met a lot of girls when I was in the Navy,” he added with a mischievous grin, recalling that as a chief petty officer in charge of the ship’s cooks, he had quite a bit of freedom to leave the ship and explore the local areas.
Secret of success
When the Clabos were asked how they had managed to stay together all these years, Louise said, “Patience,” while Newell said, “She don’t pay attention to what I say, and I don’t pay attention to what she says. I don’t like what she says and she don’t like what I say sometimes, but we just ignore it. That’s the only way you can get along.”
Louise said they’ve had their ups and downs, like all couples. “But we managed to stick with it.”
The advice she has for young couples is just that: Stick with it.
“Don’t give up too easy,” she said. “People give up too easy. You have to talk it out and do something. There are a lot of things I don’t like and he don’t like, but we work it out.”
As for Newell’s advice, he said, “Mind your own business and stay out of trouble.”
The Clabos lived in Boston and later in New Mexico, where Newell worked as a laser technician for Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. They’ve been in East Tennessee for 30 years. Newell said, “I only had an eighth-grade education but I know how to operate all the machines, know how to repair them.”
Louise said, “He has done everything. He worked on lasers, he can work on clocks and watches, and he’s pretty good at it.”
Louise did not work outside the home. “I stayed at home with the kids,” she said. “I think we did pretty well with them.”
The couple have four children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Sandra Williams, sales manager at Brookdale Browns Creek, described Newell as having a dry sense of humor and being very intelligent. “He enjoyed gardening and taking walks,” she said. She described Louise as a very sweet lady who loves her family.
The celebration on Jan. 29 included special, live music as well as a huge anniversary cake. Photographs of the Clabos from their wedding day and throughout the years were displayed along with the cake.
The honorees cut the first piece together just as they did with their wedding cake 70 years before.
James Floyd, executive director of Brookdale Browns Creek, addressed the group of family and friends gathered for the Clabos’ anniversary celebration saying, “We just want to say that we are truly blessed to witness 70 years of marriage by Louise and Newell.” He then told the couple, “We want to wish you many more. This is just a very small gesture of recognizing your 70 years together. We think a lot of both of you, and we’re glad you’re here.”