Submitted By Kathy Craigo
If you grew up in or around the Bowden house in Grimes you have likely heard time and again the story of when Jim and Bonnie Bowden ran away to get married.
Bonnie Stevenson was 18, but Jim Bowden was just three days shy of turning 17 when on February 27, 1944; 70 years ago he married the love of his life.
Bonnie’s sister Edna was married to Jim’s brother John (John C Bowden) so when Edna wrote a permission slip for Jim to get married at 17 she legally signed his mother’s name, Mrs. John C Bowden because it happened to be her name as well.
And so the story goes. . .
Once married, they came home to face the music and more importantly face Bonnie’s father: Charley Stevenson.
Jim had to ride to work with Charley but it was a considerable amount of time before Charley would speak to him again.
Time passed, tensions eased, and as in most cases; all was well again.
Jim proved to be a fine son-in-law and he and Charley became the best of friends. It was a friendship and a bond that lasted many years.
Now 70 years later, the Bowdens are celebrating a lifetime together. Their home in Grimes was shelter for many people through the years. Teenagers congregated there in the 1960’s when their daughters Ann (Krouse) and Kathy (Craigo) were growing up. No young person was turned away. Anyone who came to the door was usually fed if they were hungry.
Some of Jim’s siblings (Bob, Jesse and Betty) lived with the couple from time to time.
The home was one of Christian faith with the rule that you behaved and went by Jim and Bonnie’s rules.
They didn’t demand, but received respect from the people they came into contact with.
Their home was open to those who needed advice, food or shelter. Their hearts were open to those who needed them.
Although their health is now failing, their love for one another has not waned. They have been side by side these many years. They have been a blessing to each other, to their family and to many others. They have been an example to more.
Seventy years is a long time to be married. It deserves to be recognized as something special.
If you are among the people who have known and loved the Bowdens you are invited to share your thoughts with them by sending cards.
Jim and Bonnie love cards and cherish getting them more than most.
Cards may be mailed to Jim & Bonnie Bowden, PO Box 192, Grimes, CA 95950.