Couple gets drive-by parade

The Rings wave to friends driving by and holding "Happy Anniversary" signs on the steps of their home on Chestnut Street in Franklin during a vehicle parade celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. (By Sydney Herdle)
From staff reports

A vehicle parade celebrating the 50-year wedding anniversary of Franklin residents James and Susan Ring drove through the streets of Franklin Saturday afternoon.

The Rings waved to 16 cars’ worth of family, friends and church members of Rock of Living Waters Church, where James is currently pastor, from the steps of the couple’s home on Chestnut Street to help mark the occasion while maintaining social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19.

“(The parade) almost makes you want to try for 50 more,” Susan said following the procession, with James adding that the kindness from those who drove by was “a blessing.”

The Rings’ daughter, Jamie Ring, also gave participants in the parade special cookies decorated with “50th” and made by Jodi Baker-Lewis as they drove by.

The vehicle parade was organized by the Rings’ granddaughter, Marci Peterson, who spread the word through a public post on Facebook.

In her post, Peterson said James was deployed in Vietnam when Susan and one of her friends decided to write letters to soldiers. James received Susan’s letter in April 1967 and the pair continued to write each other and talked over the phone until they met in person for the first time over two years later, in August 1969.

The couple married on May 2, 1970, and has three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“What are the chances that one letter would have resulted in 50 years of marriage and counting?” Peterson said in the post.