AMHERST – 1948 was a year Margaret Gilbert will never forget. It was the year her husband Ken proposed, sweeping her off her feet.
“It was easy, she used to be a dancer,” husband Ken Gilbert joked.
“Not really a dancer, but I loved to dance,” added Margaret.
As though it were yesterday, the couple explained how Gilbert asked her to marry him. He took her dancing and then, asked her to be his forever.
“I was fairly young, just 17,” said Margaret. “But he wasn’t that old either, just 22. So, I said yes.”
Margaret explained that at the time, the pair faced many obstacles. They didn’t have much money and that her husband was working in the mines.
“It was a bit of a struggle to begin with, but all in all, we have five beautiful children, 16 grandchildren,” she said. “Is it 17 or 18 great grandchildren?”
“No, we have 16,” her husband insisted.
“We have more than that,” she said.
After a brief disagreement, the pair finally settled on 18 great grandchildren.
The pair lived together in Springhill for over 60 years before moving to Amherst almost eight years ago.
Keeping a marriage together for so many years may seem difficult, but for the Gilbert’s, they said it was pretty simple.
“It’s no trouble,” Ken insisted.
“I think what it is, is at that time, people didn’t expect everything at once, which is something I find young people pretty much do now,” said Margaret. “Everyone wants things, I understand that but they want it immediately. It doesn’t happen that way. I guess you have to know that.”
The married couple faced one of their biggest obstacles back in 1956. Ken was a miner in Springhill and was trapped for three days when the mine exploded.
“I was sort of in a state, thinking about the children and thinking about him,” said Margaret. “I wondered what in the world I was going to do and that he better come home. He ended up going back to the small mine to work. That deserved a slap. It almost killed me.”
After a few years, she admitted to finally forgiving her husband.
Margaret said the best way to have a successful marriage is by keeping busy.
“The alternative wouldn’t be good,” she said.
In order to keep his wife happy and in love, Ken said he always teases her a little bit to get her going. But Margaret insists she’s not hard to please.
“I love flowers,” she said.
After all their years together, the pair said they are still madly in love.
“I like her a little bit,” joked Ken.
“Most of the time,” added Margaret. “Might as well keep him around a little longer.”