Liddles to mark 50th anniversary
By Julia Green
Fifty years ago in nearby Hamden, Andes residents Ann and Dick Liddle took a gamble on the weather, getting married outdoors on what turned out to be a beautiful summer day.
“That was a nice day, sunny and hot and we had a lot of friends and family,” Ann said. “We didn’t have a big dinner like they do now. Just cake and punch and cookies. My father had a trucking business and had a three-truck garage and we talked about having to get married in there if it rained. I said, ‘It’s not going to rain. It can’t."
This weekend, they will bet on the weather yet again, as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house behind The Andes Hotel.
“I can’t believe how the years have gone – it’s unbelievable,” said Ann, who met Dick when she came to his sister’s house in Andes in 1958 to help care for her children.
“I wanted to meet her,” said Dick, who grew up in Andes, the youngest of eight children. “I dropped something intentionally to get her attention.”
It worked. The two were married at Ann’s parents’ home in Hamden on August 6, 1960. A few years later, in the late 1960s, Dick went into partnership with his father on the family farm. The Andes farm has been in the Liddle family since 1868, and is one of just six farms still in operation in the town.
“In 1955, there were 235 farms in operation in Andes,” Dick said. “Now there are six of us left, so things have changed dramatically. There used to be four grocery stores; now there’s just Hogan’s. It’s a completely changed town.”
Ann added, “There aren’t many old-timers left.”
Over the years, beyond the rigors of working on a farm, the Liddles have also been active members of the Andes community. Dick is a 36-year member of the Andes Fire Department, and served as a baseball umpire for area youth, high school and college games. Ann is the longest-active member of the Andes Fire Department Auxiliary, having joined in 1961 or 1962. She is also active in the Andes Presbyterian Church, and contributed the Andes News column to the Catskill Mountain News for 32 years.
In addition to their lives within the community, the Liddles have also done a fair bit of exploring outside the Catskills, citing vacation trips as some of their favorite memories. Since honeymooning in Niagara Falls, they have traveled to places like Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, the Grand Canyon and the Canadian Rockies.
“We like to go on trips that are planned for,” Ann said, adding that the couple will more than likely take a trip to celebrate their upcoming milestone.
Dick agreed with the value of vacationing with tour groups. “We make a lot of friends that way,” he said.
Last November, the Liddles suffered a hit when their sawmill burned down.
“Here we are, 50 years later, and I said to her about a month after the fire that I wanted to get a bandmill,” Dick said.
Ann wasn’t entirely on board with that idea, believing that if they bode their time, they could find one for a bargain. Dick said, “I started hanging around the house more, and so not long after that she decided I could have the sawmill.”
The Liddles are the parents of two grown sons – Roger, who works on the family farm, and Dan, who lives in Colorado – and the grandparents to two grandchildren, Kate and Justin.
“It’s been a hard life, but a good life,” Dick said.
This weekend’s open house will be held behind The Andes Hotel and will welcome all of the Liddle’s friends and neighbors between 1 and 4 p.m.
“We’re hoping for good weather again,” Ann said. “But there’ll be tents this time.”