After Coy Byron Johnson and Gloria Ann Dunn tied the knot 50 years ago today, they headed off to Biloxi, Mississippi, for an all-expense paid honeymoon trip as the 1967 Gadsden Times June Bride and Groom.
Back in the 1960s, The Times had an annual contest, selecting a June bride and groom to be featured in stories and advertisements from sponsoring local businesses.
Gloria said someone suggested they enter the contest. They had to submit an application and were selected for an interview.
“I was surprised we won,” she said.
Part of the process was sharing the story of your meeting and romance, and that might have given the Johnsons an edge.
“We met in bed,” Gloria said.
However, the story is not as saucy as it seems. The Dunns and Johnsons were friends, and during a visit 1-week-old Gloria and 2-month-old Coy were put in the same baby bed.
Growing up, they saw each other occasionally and went to the same schools in Southside. Coy was one year ahead of Gloria because of the enrollment cut-off date.
Coy was voted Mr. Southside in 1964; Gloria was selected as Miss Southside in 1965. But they didn’t have much to do with each other in school.
“He was doing his thing and I was doing mine,” she said. “He played football and I was in the band.”
Coy started business college, but got a job at the steel plant, working a swing shift that ruled out continuing college at that point.
“That was a big deal,” he said.
Gloria went to Jacksonville State after graduation and mutual friends made a plan for a double date: Sandra and Coy, Gloria and Jacky.
“But I had to go boil my frog,” Gloria said, for a biology class, so…
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