Ellie Wolcott and Peter Wolcott

Recorded May 18, 2007 Archived May 18, 2007 37:13 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBY002763


Husband and wife re-say their vows to each other and recount the stories of their marriage.

Subject Log / Time Code


  • Ellie Wolcott
  • Peter Wolcott

Recording Location

MobileBooth West


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00:06 Okay, I'm Peter Walker and I am currently

00:11 45 going.on 46 in July

00:15 Today is May 18th. 2007 and we are have a storycorps booth in Omaha, Nebraska.

00:22 And I will be talking with my wife Ellie Holcomb.

00:32 My name is Ellie Walcott and I am 46 it is currently May 18th 2007. Where in the Omaha storycorps trailer and I will be talking with my husband Peter.

00:49 So we wanted to go back to the beginning of our married life and talk I start with her about our wedding vows. And since our anniversary is May 25th. We couldn't get a storycorps slot for that day. So this is the next best thing and then I just kind of Reminisce a little bit about our lives from that point forward to the present here in Omaha.

01:20 Yeah, we were married in on May 25th and 1990 and Tucson, Arizona.

01:28 At the

01:30 Vineyard we called it the vineyard Christian Community.

01:36 With Autumn crops was that pastoring course we had.

01:40 Grand assembly of family and friends there

01:45 But anyways, I'll start reading my vows to to Ellie.

01:51 Elli there are not many times in a man's life when he commits himself irrevocably to something or someone. This is such a time for me. I pledge myself to you forever and in all circumstances this commitment fills me not with fear, but with great joy and anticipation for we make our pledges to each other not out of Our Own Strength alone, but by God's grace and out of a recognition that he has called us together. I give him great. Thanks for giving me a gift as marvelous as you

02:23 Nelly I will honor you above all other people in my heart and in the presence of others you are my priority second only to God himself

02:33 I will respond to your needs even when my own needs press upon me. I will encourage you and every good thing. I will pray for you and with you I will rejoice with you as you grow as an individual and as a follower of Christ.

02:47 L E. I will work together with you to create a home which is nurturing and life-giving for us and whatever children God might give us.

02:56 I will do my best to create an environment in which we can rejoice and each other's gifts and share our successes and failures our Joys and our disappointments.

03:06 I will seek the cultivator home in which we can grow in our knowledge of God and from God learn2serve each other and shoulder each other's burdens.

03:17 Since it will only be by God's grace and in his strength that I will be able to live out these pledges to you. I will make my relationship with him my highest priority rooted in his love for us. We can love each other fully bringing deep joy to one another glory to God and blessing to those around us. Welcome my dear one.

03:41 Peter I thank the Lord regularly for you and for your love and you he has provided someone to share a profound lifelong intimacy your honesty loyalty consistency intelligence humor and steadiness have instilled trust and respect to me. It is clear how God works in and through you I love you Peter. I love you because you are my best friend.

04:42 I love you for your character.

04:52 I love you because you love our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love you Just the Way You Are.

05:01 Peter about it on our love for each other and not abused it because it is difficult for me to articulate the meaning of love. I must rely on Paul's first letter to the Corinthians and 1st Corinthians 13 6 through 7. Paul says love does not Delight in evil but rejoices with the truth it always protects, always trusts always hopes always perseveres to me this means supporting and encouraging your personal growth. If it means putting your interests above my own it means taking risks to confront and challenge you if need be it mean sharing our lives the Hertz in the triumphs the successes in the failures.

05:38 Without inviting the Lord to be present in our relationship. However, it will be impossible for me to keep my vow to honor our love only he can order our seat of commitment and make it blossom into a healthy while rooted relationship bearing the fruits of Joy respect and trust. It is only with his love that I can truly love you. But if I may be so bold, I will go ahead and say Peter. I love you with all my heart.

06:03 I was reading through this before we came down here at the

06:09 Occurred to me that you know the time that we wrote These up we have no idea what we are getting into it.

06:18 But the

06:20 You know having read through them again, I think.

06:25 For me, that was Romaine really pretty current. I mean, obviously

06:32 Haven't fulfilled imperfectly in in every way but at least there's an expression of what's in my heart and what my intentions are and and I told more often than Optimum practice that they but they still ring true which is which is kind of neat that I wasn't so far off the Mark when he from

07:00 Yeah, well and what have we gone through since we wrote These?

07:06 Quite a bit

07:09 What do you remember most from our wedding?

07:13 Being exhausted the dancing.

07:18 And that my wedding dress recent it had been mom's and alleys and it was an antique dress that the zipper broke in the back. So you had to hold it close with your hand while we were dancing.

07:33 Good thing we took those country swing less. I know and that we were just surrounded by friends and family and we had a gorgeous cake.

07:44 Great food

07:46 I can't believe how much money mom spent but

07:51 Now I remember.

07:53 Towards the end of that reception my Aunt Nancy came up to me and said, you know.

07:58 Other guests can't leave until you guys did have a good time. I was enjoying myself. I had no intention it.

08:06 You know, I think we were the last to leave.

08:09 Pretty clothes. You have a good party.

08:13 So and it sort of started Thursday night, then we have the square dance. We had square dance for local for friends who couldn't make it was that we couldn't invite to the reception. So we did a square dance and then and we were late getting there after the rehearsal and we had a Friday wedding rehearsal dinner.

08:38 I don't have a 4-day event. I think we we we we certainly did that intentionally, but really wanted to stretch out the whole event didn't want it to be just a 2-hour thing and then and then we're done.

08:54 It's on Saturday morning. I think didn't was Madeleine Camp posted the the morning or the brunch ready?

09:04 And your family went up to Mount Lemmon?

09:08 No.

09:11 No Saturday, I don't remember. No, that was Friday.

09:17 The best brunches on Friday

09:20 Well whenever she was Saturday morning after it was Saturday morning, and you all went your family went up Friday before the wedding up to Mount Lemmon. I think to the mountains didn't you?

09:36 I have no recollection of had a mile.

09:40 And then your backpack was stolen out of the car with the airline tickets.

09:51 The you know, the maitre d or or somebody came out poolside and

09:57 Show us some airline tickets and asked if they were ours. In fact, they were our tickets. They were the tickets up to Nova Scotia for our honeymoon.

10:07 Honey mentioned that one of his Cooks on the coming in that morning and noticed something in the bushes and it didn't vestigate it and there was my backpack stuff kind of strewn.

10:22 Strewn all over the place including the airline tickets that I've been in the car and somebody in taking it out of the car and rummage through it and apparently not saying anything of value still won't find anything of value.

10:37 Finding nothing of value I had discarded it.

10:42 I was working in poor Eileen know that I don't know if it was the same person who broke into her hotel room. I don't think we mentioned Peter that. We were married in Tucson, Arizona did we get in at the reception was at the Arizona in and it was very lovely.

11:03 I think

11:05 We interpreted that whole event. There is a as a sign of describes Grace on us at the beginning of our marriage. I mean could very easily if

11:15 Might not have noticed or Barbara was it took the backpack could run further away with it to her and we could have been left without any.

11:25 Airline tickets to Nova Scotia

11:30 But it didn't work out that and instead we had a really nice honeymoon in those Scotia bike riding hiking eating good seafood and join the Apple Blossom Festival. That's right.

11:45 And why did we choose Nova Scotia? Cuz it was a lot like Norway Norway in New England, but it was a

11:55 Place that neither of us had any individual memories of now I never been there.

12:02 Paper one of the interesting things there was, you know an in Canada and general I guess but certainly Nova Scotia that

12:11 The language with the exception of an occasional a pretty pretty much like what we're used to but remember going to the museum and Halifax there which has a lot of similarity to Portland. They both share a maritime history and similar architecture and and everything and and they've a fort and they do skip some things but in a particular for it was the British who were being glorified.

12:41 Anglican Church where they prayed for the Queens on usual and

12:47 So there is something interesting.

12:51 Cultural things

12:54 And then we kind of hit the ground running didn't we?

12:58 And I'm finishing up your PhD my working having a Lisa.

13:07 And James came to live with us. Betsy's son came to live with us at 5 days old when Eliza was 7 months.

13:18 What's a few more words about that that episode?

13:23 Your family kind of realize that your sister Betsy was we didn't know what was going on with her and

13:32 So and then all of a sudden moms at the emergency room, and she's having a c-section.

13:41 Yeah, and Colonel James was born at 5 lb something.

13:48 And immediately into foster care and then

13:56 So we took care of him for 14 months. He dead.

14:02 That was one of the harder decisions.

14:05 To give him up wasn't it that Lisa was what 9 months old and he was born 7 months old. So we would have had one at 7 months and one.

14:17 Do a 7 month younger 7 months older and that would have been very difficult.

14:25 I'm sure cutie.

14:28 Anyway, it's your Dad's cousin, Massillon to Gina.

14:36 Who had two boys have their own Express to that desired to adopt a third? Yes. I'm so they adopted James.

14:46 And the

14:48 Then when he was how old 5 they moved to South Africa cuz he became the bureau chief for Newsweek and South Africa.

15:00 And live there for quite a number of years or six seven something like that. And then the tragedy of last fall was it when he returned to New York and was hit by the car and almost went on Massillon.

15:19 So they've moved back to the States but

15:24 After that summer, we got pregnant again and moved to Alabama. Where you had in one year.

15:31 Appointment visiting appointment and university of

15:35 South Alabama. Alabama, that was a that was a tough decision to because

15:42 I am finished my degree in 93.

15:46 And then the Academic Year 93-94

15:51 Was an adjunct faculty member at University of Arizona and you were

15:58 Well, at least I've been born at that time, so

16:02 Well, so you and I were actually splitting you were still working at the you were the liaison between the faculty of Fine Arts in the Computing Center and I was either doing my dissertation or teaching as an adjunct. So, you know, you are having babies and I think Lisa was born. Did you go to half-time? I did and Mom helped us out and then Yola and then the other and then the other college student whose name I've forgotten and who we never informed that we were moving.

16:41 I remember now the person at all.

16:45 Bottom

16:49 Yeah, so so at the end in the spring, I guess of that Academic Year after I was finishing up a year as I jumped the department chair said, you know, we don't really have a spot for for next fall.

17:05 Which in Spring is not a great time to go looking for an academic position Zoe.

17:13 And scrambled up a little bit and you are also looking for those positions as of the research.

17:21 Yeah that have been my original thought that I go into, you know, one of these consulting firms.

17:29 Chandler pools in the World Bank grants or whatever does these studies and the more I looked into it the more I realized that the way these outfits off and work is update have a very small core of permanent people and then when they land one of these grants then they quickly ramp up they hire temporary people to do a lot of the work and then when the project is over those people are let go and Company shrinks back to its small core again, and that plus all of the traveling these projects involve just

18:08 Didn't seem compatible with a family life.

18:13 So that turned me off to it a little bit and at the same time, I think it was Joey Georgia to talk to me a little bit more about the academic the academic world.

18:26 Key Insight that he gave me was at.

18:31 Not all universities are like the U of A. Not all the universities have a very heavy research focus and teaching is something that you do cuz you have to but your main gig is research which didn't fit my profiler interest at all. I was much more interested in the tree in the teaching. I had a little bit of experience with it that last year and and found that I was reasonably good at it and enjoyed it.

19:00 So that all the sudden opened up the whole new possibilities of an academic position.

19:07 But wrong time of year so we look for temporary positions and then

19:14 One came up in South Alabama. That was where

19:18 Bob Danielson, Glenda was her last name Bob and Glenda Glenda applied for that neck tattoo offers. When was South Alabama and one was from University of Montreal? I think.

19:41 Somewhere in Canada. It was in Montreal in Montreal.

19:47 And up

19:49 Decision to go to South Alabama was probably one of the harder decisions because

19:56 As I recall, we spent a lot of time talking about it and praying about it trying to find some trying to get some guidance as to which way to go and they the two opportunities just continued to be

20:11 Equally weighted let you know there was no.

20:15 Each one has positives and its negatives.

20:18 But there was no clear basis for picking a line over the other.

20:25 I really that really bothered me.

20:30 I really wanted to have some clarity that yes, this was the right decision and I think even after we made the decision it wasn't at the time.

20:39 Clear that.

20:41 I was in a fog then being pregnant a second time and getting so sick.

20:46 I just and I knew that I was giving up work. So that was definitely that was a decision. That was much more on your shoulders in mine.

20:57 Quite come down to flipping a coin I guess.

21:02 I don't even remember what criteria we chose.

21:05 So, you know, they were both equal and as far as the kinds of teaching I'd be doing I think the salaries or comprable especially if compared to the standard of living car cost of living maybe Bob and Glenda being there made a big difference from a location perspective probably would have preferred montreal-based done what preconceptions we had in our mind what those two places were like, but I think the fact that

21:42 They speak French in Montreal may have made a difference though. We both taken some French.

21:51 I think

21:53 Anyway, we picked Alabama cuz the people in their land were warmer.

22:01 Whatever

22:03 Selena was born in

22:06 You had a good year and we all had a good year though. It was a tough adjustment certainly being a stay-at-home mom for the first time and being pregnant and sick not having any two-year-old Oshie three-year-old and then Lena was born in April and Lisa turn three in July and by that point and you had gone through the interviewing process all over again, right and had an offer from University of South Alabama and even know

22:42 We didn't talk about driving across.

22:46 From Tucson to from Tucson to mobile either

22:51 Only Center little car seat listening to tapes and never got off at Atlanta to mobile and spent two days in Texas. I think a long time in Texas and we did the same thing driving from

23:09 Mobile all the way up to Omaha didn't we was Lena is a four-month-old and at least it was three by then and U-Haul truck and we made sure to stop and let Eliza go swimming and

23:22 Before I lean, I wouldn't get to the end of a rope and

23:27 We got chased out of town by that hurricane. Remember that hurricane is going to come up Mobile Bay and we are packing and

23:36 And then packing faster and faster is the hurricane got closer and I think

23:43 I think if we hadn't left the morning we did if we waited for another six or eight hours. We wouldn't have made it out of town.

23:50 Has hurricane with switch is barreling at Mobile Bay and and so we were

23:57 And we're trying to make make miles as quickly as we could to get get away from the coastal area by the time and it hit land.

24:08 But you don't respect it was

24:11 A good thing that we went to mobile or rather than

24:15 Montreal because

24:18 Turns out that the courses that I took that I taught down in Alabama where

24:23 We're very much in line with what the department here at you and I know needed.

24:28 I thought that was your specialty before even we went before I'd like the U of A. I talk to data, or something or the intro to am I asked her something like that, right?

24:47 But in Alabama, I started teaching a database course.

24:51 And that was

24:54 That was the whole that the department here had in his program.

24:58 There's a fight going to Montreal. I would have thought analysis and design and they were Leah and Paul or are they here and there the analysis and design people so

25:09 So Alabama really prepared me well for you and no.

25:14 And

25:16 But I almost didn't apply because

25:22 Man, I know.

25:25 No experience at all with the Midwest. None of the people. He knew none of my relatives are from the Midwest.

25:32 They all come from a hundred miles of the US border.

25:37 Well, you know what else I remember from our time in Alabama. We're just a little things like the red Red Dirt that the dirt the dirt roads are all red Earth and going and playing with Eliza with her Lion King figurines cuz I just come out and the one time when she had Mufasa or maybe it was the scar figurine and we are playing in the dirt in the road and a car came along and we didn't we just thought he would go right over that piece and it's squashed it.

26:07 And then we went down to what's the beach down there?

26:14 A great the Gulf Beach with a White Sands little Eliza playing in the waves and blond hair and those horrible biting red ants that your dad got completely mauled by because I forgot to tell him about them when he was putting in the plants and those Gardens that we went. What are the name of those Cardinals Bellingrath Gardens?

26:38 And just a plethora of flowers.

26:43 You don't have so many of them here. I think you were too busy. I think you are really working hard to and all the Stray Cats. Remember you started for you to control my Broadmoor Street cast.

27:02 And then actually remember the new mobilians group moms and kids that are nice.

27:08 That was an amazing group cuz I you know, we'd heard all about this.

27:14 You know the Oldsmobile Ian's I guess people have been there for generations and how hard it was to break into those Social Circles and soda.

27:22 Newcomers the transient people decided to I mean transient Tunes come in for a job for a few years and then move away realize that they didn't have

27:33 Didn't have time to wait to set up social networks and created their own.

27:39 You know meeting one introductions meeting to your old friends, so

27:45 Yeah, I know that's exactly how it was and they arranged all sorts of Tours and that was nice. That was nice.

27:56 Get some social contacts really quickly and then we spent time with Bob and Glenda, although I think they were very disappointed that we chose not to stay there.

28:06 Yeah. Yeah, I think so.

28:11 Anyway, thank you and no head.

28:17 Well it. The time I interviewed of course. I had no idea that the

28:22 Peter Kiewit Institute for the new knowledge of ice and tea was even being discussed but

28:28 But they did have tearing down the racetracks to build a high tech college.

28:36 But they did have a lot of international activity which at the time that I interviewed was attractive to me cuz I wanted to remain involved in international activities and

28:49 I kind of

28:52 You know, I'm going to ask me why I didn't stay at Alabama. That was one of the things that I mentioned.

28:58 Hello after I got here. I never really worked closely with in group at all.

29:04 But no movements were a foot with a new collagen.

29:10 Think we also wanted to or didn't want to.

29:17 And haven't heard good things about the public school system down in Mobile. So

29:24 Hi again, it seems the schooling for the girls team so far in the distance that I hadn't thought that one through so much, but when we got up here, Lena was just four months and Lisa was three and Eliza started preschool, and I was still at home.

29:44 Lyft first year next to the gunslingers

29:48 Through whom we got involved with King of Kings Lutheran Church.

29:58 Yeah.

30:00 We've been here ever since like Clara was born in 99 we came in.

30:10 No, it would have it would have been August of July August of 95 was born that year.

30:19 So it'll be coming on 12 years and we've been in our house 11 a few months in that house where the landowner refuse to fix the roof properly. So everything was fine until the spring when every rains came in the basement flooded in the water came down on the inside of the walls to the outlets.

30:42 Nice, nice. Nice bedrooms upstairs a little Lena.

30:46 Started crawling backwards and

30:49 Started walking and

30:51 And I got the full force of being a stay-at-home mom.

30:58 Yeah, and then I was so we moved into our house, but I was working to get 10 year-old my goodness. So I'm putting in the hours long hours.

31:09 And working Saturdays you were working Saturdays as well. You are working 6 days a week and nights.

31:18 No wonder we were always so exhausted.

31:24 But we really started to put down roots and in Omaha.

31:31 The girls will go to the same public school elementary school in elementary school.

31:44 People I think that you know, the thing that that really amazed me when we first came to Omaha and Annalisa started in a preschool was up there where parents taking their kids to the same preschool, but they don't had gone to her house and he moved in when I mean, he's 75

32:12 I'll let you know he has been in that house for 7 years.

32:22 I don't know. I don't know.

32:26 Been there long time and now our oldest is 14 and Lena just turned twelve and Clara just turned eight and we will be married 17 years on the 25th.

32:41 We've had lots of miscommunications, but we certainly have been through a lot at Lisa's illness of your illness.

32:53 We made it. We made it so far so far all the last night after that discussion. I was wondering if you made a good point. We need to spend more time together.

33:09 Talking so

33:12 Well, that's how we run, Omaha.

33:16 Yep, and we're not really talking about moving either for the hard to think very far in advance when you're

33:26 Running fast is to keep the next weekend schedule in order.

33:32 I know.

33:34 So we got three great girls and a dog. Who knows. She's great.

33:41 Two baby guinea pigs a fish a horse and a parakeet. Thankfully the horse doesn't stay in the house with us.

33:51 Have a good thing. That is a good thing or good thing. Well, here's to another.

33:57 47 years Peter, maybe till one of us the parts of the Earth.

34:18 If you've just married it's so beautiful you started with your vowels and kind of this whole progression of your lives.

34:27 I'm wondering if when you

34:32 Think of the other person

34:36 During the time.

34:39 What are what are your most Vivid memories of each other? What what image comes to mind?

34:51 Oh Peter playing the donkey with Eliza riding on his back and Peter doing the doing the puppet shows illustrating different Bible stories or just goofy stories are you know?

35:08 The first time you tried to grill hamburgers on the grill.

35:13 I don't know building the fence reluctantly for the dog.

35:19 Selective Service

35:27 Also, just just especially when all this daughter went through a very serious illness a number of years ago and just the fact that Peter was there to talk and talk it through and just there the entire time emotionally spiritually physically, so

35:52 Yeah.

35:54 Find for me the most.

35:58 Vivid picture, I guess that captures a lot of things. I think it's just when you laugh I really like your laugh.

36:06 And and and your laugh is very natural and genuine and that's the kind of person you are.

36:16 I really appreciate that except when I'm depressed. Well, right but, you know, we try to move Beyond those times to India back to laughing again.

36:27 But um, I think that's that's one of the things that I really appreciate about you is hell.

36:34 How genuine you are and in many ways.

36:39 You know when you're happy when you're sad when you're angry with me when you're happy with me at all. It's is pretty clear what's going on and I don't have to.

36:48 Really wonder too much about

36:51 About Guyana where things are at to me. I really enjoy living with you. Thank you.

37:01 Be nice when we can get that bathroom fixed though.

37:07 Did you there?