Opal and Norman Morgan were both raised in California. They were introduced by mutual friends and married in 1954 on Opal’s 16th birthday, Norman was age 17. This year the couple celebrated a wonderful milestone, 60 years of marriage.
The Morgans raised three children: two sons and one daughter and now have seven grandkids and 17 great grandkids. “Growing up all I wanted to be was a wife and a mother. I give all the credit to God because I don’t think anyone can stay together for 60 years without His help,” said Opal. “I think a major thing is that we never considered anything other than keeping our commitment we originally made. I like to joke that we were married three times, every 25 years we renew our vows, so when things would wear out we would just renew it,” Norman said with a smile.
In 1992, after Norman retired from his career as a welder of heavy equipment, the couple moved, along with their daughter and her husband and children, from Northern California to Polk County, Arkansas. Their son, Roy, and his family joined them later. “We had a friend that lived here and he told us that Mena was the place to live. We came through in 1987 and liked what we saw. In 1991, we took my mother to visit her brother in Oklahoma and spent a week here. We decided to move the next year,” explained Opal. “I tell people that I am in my favorite town, in my favorite state, in my favorite country.”
The Morgan’s have a deep love of music and feel that coming to Mena was wonderful for this aspect of their lives because they jumped into the local music scene. From July 1995 until May 2000, they hosted music at their barn every Saturday night. Norman plays rhythm guitar and sings and Opal plays bass and assists with the singing. “We met many wonderful musicians that we are still involved with through our Saturday nights at the barn,” said Norman. “We started playing with George Murphy after meeting him on New Years Eve in 1994 and he has been with us ever since.”
In the fall of 1995, they began playing at the Peachtree on Monday nights, where Don Squires joins them on the fiddle. They also lead the Worship Service and Bible Study there on Sunday Mornings. “The residents and staff treat us so wonderful. It is our favorite place to play right now,” said Opal.
Opal, Norman, and George also play at The Oaks Retirement Center on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 3 p.m.
“There are so many reasons we love Polk County. One of the main reasons for coming out here was to get our grandkids away from the destructive culture in California. When we came out for a visit and went to the grocery store and everyone was so friendly,” said Opal. “When we went to a government office, they wanted to help you. We weren’t used to that,” added Norman. “The first time we had ever seen people pray around a flag pole was here and my grandson came home from school in middle school, so excited that there was a scripture verse on the wall in his classroom.”
The Morgans were honored for their 60th Wedding Anniversary with a beautiful reception hosted by their children and grandchildren. Many friends and family members gathered to celebrate this tremendous milestone and the couple, along with some of their music friends, put on a nice concert for those in attendance.