CHESTERTOWN - This month, Aileen and Philip Hogue will look back on their 70-year-old Valentine's Day story from the Greatest Generation.
Their children will be at Heron Point to help celebrate their anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 9. They are coming from Texas, Tennessee and Virginia.
Phil was born in Nebraska and moved to Prince George's County when his father, James Earl Hogue, became manager of the farm belonging to William Butterworth in Brandywine. Phil later attended the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in agriculture.
Aileen was born in Kansas. Her father, a carpenter, moved to Washington during the Great Depression in search of work. The family spent their first summer in the city, living out of a tent in the "Hooverville" at Haynes Point. They later settled in Riverdale. Aileen also attended UMD, graduating with a degree in education.
Aileen and Phil were first introduced by Aileen's brother, who also was studying agriculture at UMD. At the time of Phil's graduation in May 1943, World War II was in full swing. He received his diploma several weeks early so he could enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Their wedding date was set by the Army when Phil was allotted a short leave in February 1944. Aileen's maid of honor, Ruth Vial, met Phil's brother, Lester Hogue, at the wedding. They later married and took residence in Easton.
After their honeymoon, Phil returned to his job as an aircraft mechanic working on P-47 Thunderbolts in Richmond, Va. and Aileen continued her work as a business teacher at Greenbelt High School. During the summers, Aileen joined Phil at their apartment in Richmond. Aileen always spoke fondly of this time and place, even though there were roaches "everywhere" and she had to scrub the dishes before and after each meal.
Following the war, the two returned to Riverdale where Phil taught shop classes at Surrattsville High School. The couple raised their first two children - Karen and Keith - in a small home that Aileen's father built for the family. In 1952, the family moved to the Eastern Shore, where their third child, Edith, was born. While on the Shore, Phil managed the Wye River farm, owned by the Dutcher family, until 1956.
The family later moved to the Washington area, where Phil became a real estate broker specializing in land and commercial real estate. Aileen gave piano lessons until Edith was old enough for kindergarten and then returned to teaching at Duval High School in Takoma Park. During this time, both were active at Riverdale Presbyterian Church, where Aileen directed the choir and Phil served as elder and deacon.
Aileen and Phil maintained their ties to the Shore, with frequent visits to family in Easton and to Phil's parents' farm in Queenstown.
When the time came to retire, Phil and Aileen returned to the Shore and to spend their golden years at Heron Point in Chestertown. The two moved into a cottage in 1999 and became active members of First Presbyterian Church. They have enjoyed classes at Washington College, bus trips to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and making many new friends, as well as treasuring their surroundings on the Chester River.