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The Augusta Chronicle
An Augusta love story 75 years in the making is now a book, stage play
By Miguel Legoas, Augusta Chronicle,
Not every relationship lasts, and few have lasted as long as Dorothy and Isaac Jackson Jr.
The couple grew up in the Augusta-area and celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Sept. 12 with friends, family and even the White House via a congratulatory letter from President Joe Biden. Their story has warmed the hearts of many, so much so that it has been turned into a book and a stage play that was recently performed at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts.
The Augusta Chronicle sat down with the Jacksons in their North Augusta home two days after their anniversary to hear their story.
The two first met when they were young children in Augusta and can still remember the day and their impact on each other.
"I was standing in the front yard ... Isaac rolled up with one of his friends on the bicycle. I looked at him and he looked at me and I saw something that I never saw before," Dorothy Jackson recalled. "I asked the Lord that night at prayer 'Would I ever see that little boy again?'"
Her husband recalled a similar reaction.
"I don't know what I felt," he described. "Something caught me in the chest and drawed me to her ... I never did know what it was until later. I found out it must have been what we had for one another."
The two reconnected at what is now the Lucy Craft Laney High School. Remembering that fateful day, they became close and it wasn't long before Isaac Jackson popped the big question.
"I was about to leave her house and I just couldn't bring up what I wanted to say," he said. "I started on the porch and I just turned around and brought it out anyway and asked her would she marry me. She said 'Yes,' and I said 'Think about it and let me know if you feel the same way.' Sure enough, it didn't change."
But there was one step they had to overcome first: Isaac Jackson had to get the blessing of his future parents-in-law. The couple rehearsed what he would say on a swing, and after some practice, he approached them. Dorothy Jackson's mother gave her approval after a couple of questions. Her father approved too, but she recalled the promise he demanded of the young Isaac Jackson before giving away his daughter.
"'You see where you all can't get along, just like you walk out my door with her, I want her back in here just like that,'" Dorothy Jackson recalled. "'If I see a scratch on her, or a bruise on her, I'm looking for you, young man.' Isaac said 'No sir, I promise you, from the day that I die, there will be no scratches and no bruises on Dorothy if you say 'Yeah.'"
They were married on Sunday, Sept. 12, 1948.
How their love story has been told
In 2019, the couple chronicled their story in a book entitled "Our Love Story: How we met - How we live." The Jacksons were inspired to do so after their pastor mentioned some of their fellow congregants were writing their own books. They were happy with the response, especially when their niece Rene Gordon was inspired to produce their story as a play. Gordon said she could not have been happier with the play's debut turnout.
"Two sold-out shows!" she exclaimed via Messenger. "People came from near and far … literally up and down the eastern coast of the United States … and showed up and showed out to attend the play at The Jessye Norman School of The Arts. I give all the honor and glory to God for this blessing."
The Jacksons attended both shows and were thrilled with the performances.
"It was really a joy to see, looking at somebody else acting like you and almost looking like you," Dorothy Jackson said.
Gordon said she intends to bring the show back to Augusta and tour it in the near future. The book is still available on Amazon for about $13.
What lessons their love story teaches
One of the Jackson's children, Claudette, described how she grew up as a part of her mother and father's story and what she saw in them.
"I have always known them to do for other people," she said. "I've seen that exhibited in both of them and they've instilled that in us to help other people."
She also has some regret about not learning from her parent's story. Having been together for so long, the Jacksons are a constant example of a loving and successful marriage, and as such, other couples often ask them for advice. Here were some of their points of advice:
Pray and compromise.
Talk things out.
Don't have a "This is mine and this is yours" mindset and communicate with one another about purchases.
The initial courtship is important, so make sure you really know the person you are with before getting married.
These are lessons the Jacksons entered their marriage with, and looking back at their 75 years together, they would not have changed anything.