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Sam Burgess | sb4269
"A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer." - Bruce Lee

Reluctant Admission

Aug 9th 2010 at 11:13 AM

Please forgive me for this article for those that will think this is a little over the line but Deb and I have been asked here as well as by some of our Great TCL Friends in SX, "How have you two seemed to still have a great marriage after so many years?" Well, that is not an easy question to respond to since I know that there are those that may be offended by part of the answer and just like some of my relatives and Deb's relatives in the early days of of our marriage, they simply thought we were nuts, lol.

In early 1969, I was in the Air Force going through electronics training in what was Lowry AFB in Denver. The only way to live off base was to be married, lol. Believe me, they kept us busy 24/7 doing details when not in school, gruesome to say the least. So, in February of '69 when she turned 18, I called her and asked her why wait to that summer,, when we were supposed to get married, so she asked her Mom and Dad if she could drop out of high school, fly to Denver, get married to this Sam guy. I could not believe they let her so on March 8, 1969 we tied the knot. A couple of rookie kids to say the least. I can still remember the first time we held hands in the back of the Temple Theater in Leland, Mississippi, she was 14 and I was 17. So the venture began.

We left Denver in July and then to Shaw AFB in SC for a few months of real training on the RF-4C and then on to Thailand for me, while Deb stayed with her folks, pregnant with our first of five kids. In July of 1972 we went to Kadena AFB in Okinawa for two and a half years. We dearly loved the time in Okinawa. From there back to Shaw and then I retrained into the F-15 program with school in Denver again and then an assignment to Langley AFB in Virginia. The assignment to Langley was the most important and critical assignment that we had because of a great couple that we met by the name of Ron and Toby Hale, who were Diamond Direct Distributors in Amway, the big soap company, lol. We got to know Ron and Toby very well and soon discovered the reason they are always excited and optimistic with life in general and seemed to care a lot about other people. One day, after about a year, when they kind of took us under their wings, Ron wanted to talk serious about life with us, we went to church with them one weekend and I must admit, that was a life changing experience for us. At this point they gave us a little advice to live by and this is where things began to make sense to Deb and I and we have followed their advice since and also gave it to our kids when they got married.

Our Foundation to Live By:

1) Ron told us to have a happy and long prosperous marriage to "Never stop Dating."  So, all I will say here, is that to this day after 41 awesome years, we still sneak off and go to a motel somewhere for the weekend. Just us! This is where some of Deb's and My Relatives thought we were kind of nuts. The kids joke about Mom and Dad today when they can't find us on a weekend, "Mom and Dad must have gone to a sleazy motel again!" Since we spend a lot of time in our RV, yes we have our favorite little RV Park, secluded by a river in south Texas, lol. So all you guys out there, Don't Stop Dating Your Wife and Wives, I would encourage it.

2) Since we were in business with Ron and Toby, they also occasionally counseled us on money management. They would always tell us, "Never argue over money, whether it is a lack of or the over abundance of". That advice came in handy many times after we got out of the Air Force and move to Texas. I had the entrepreneurial bug from my association with Ron as well as my Dad's family. My Grandmother use to tell us, "Burgess means, You can't work for some one else all your life". Deb and I started several businesses over the years and some were real losers and a couple were big winners. I will never forget the day I wrote a $5,000 check to a friend in Atlanta for some pay phones and a month of so later called him to let me come pick them up and he said, "Sam, what are you talking about?" Five grand gone, I was sick but Deb in all her wisdom said, "Honey, don't worry about it, we will make it up." So we quickly learned that money was the down fall of marriage of some of our friends and relatives. So my friends, just remember, money is a tool for good in the hands of the right person and never ever let money be the subject of an argument with you Husband or Wife, life is much bigger. We learned that when we got burned, just give it to them. God has his way, we never loan money to our kids, if they need some, we give it to them with no strings attached. Do not let the abundance of or lack of money control you.

3) This rule to live by is the one that I have some difficulty explaining to people, especially if I don't know them very well. I have never been one to force my belief or religion on some one else even though I find it hard to believe that a person can live their life without a Strong Foundation to Live By. Deb was raised by a very strong Christian family, her Grand Parents were evangelists in Texas, Arkansas and where ever else they believe they were called to go. I on the other hand, we went to church as kids and it was never a big deal at all. When Deb and I met Ron and Toby, I knew there was something different about them. They were always optimistic, up beat, excited about the future and no matter what happened they looked for the strawberry. The quote that I place on my face plate about the attitude of walking into a room full of horse manure and then start looking for the pony has a lot of meaning to it. One July Sunday of 1978, Den and I went to a church service in Roanoke, Virginia. Up until that day, I saw the manure and smelled the manure. From that day forward, Sam has been looking for the pony. I discovered who my God was, who Jesus is and the importance of what the purpose in life was for Deb and I. As my Dear Dad would say, "Sam took the bait, hook, line and sinker". Today when friends and relatives ask why we are so optimistic and up beat it is easy to tell them the Truth, "We are anchored to the Solid Rock that the world can't move!" My sincere and solemn wish is that YOU know what I mean.

There you have it folks, Deb and I truly have a great marriage of 41 years and counting because of living by the described principles. We have used that picture that you see all over the net for almost six years and I can sincerely say that we are closer today than we were when that picture was made and it gets better all the time, yes there are disagreements but we now have a Personal Counselor that we take those to and His Word is Still the Truth. Remember, with God on your side, you are always in majority.

May God Bless You All in all your Marketing Efforts and Your Marriage.

Sam and Deb Burgess

In an RV Park Somewhere


Please to comment
Feb 28th 2011 at 6:46 AM by NinaNestoroff
I can tell you the truth of what you said from the other side. I wish my marriage story had been more like yours but that's neither here nor there at this point. I do know that your words about God and Jesus and standing on that solid rock really touched me. I got goosebumps reading it. It's not often easy in today's society to find someone who is willing to stand up and proclaim their faith. May God continue to bless you, Deb and your business.
Nov 30th 2010 at 3:50 AM by fredds
Excellent article. I liked this quote from your article: "Do not let the abundance of or lack of money control you."
Oct 18th 2010 at 9:41 PM by drkelp
What a great testimony for a long marriage. I love your tips. I have been married for over 32 years and think its time I did some more dating with my wife :) I have noticed your profile photo many times and thought what a lovely couplke you look. God bless, Grant
Aug 22nd 2010 at 2:45 PM by bizsuccesskeys
Thanks for this... I have never been married but I told my live in boyfriend the other night about NSD.. never stop dating. We were actually out on a 'date' when I told him this so I think we are good :)
Aug 21st 2010 at 2:04 PM by TimRR
Great info

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