Jim and Linda Adkins of La Junta were married Feb. 5, 1967, in Ordway at the Christian Church, and now are celebrating the 50th anniversary of that special day and its many memories. They are the parents of two sons, Chet (Kelly) and Flint and are grandparents to Kayle, Austin, Damian and Eli.

They first met at a New Year's Eve dance in Ordway when Jim was 18 and Linda 15. Their lives went different directions with Linda graduating in 1964 from Crowley County High School and taking a job at the First National Bank in Ordway. Jim joined the Army and was stationed in Germany from 1963-66, while training for a possible deployment to Vietnam. While home on leave in 1965, he ran into Linda one evening and their romance was rekindled. He proposed and she said Yes! He had another year to finish in Germany (he never went to Nam), so through their frequent letters, they made plans to announce their engagement and upcoming wedding.

They began their wedded journey in Rocky Ford but shortly thereafter moved to Walsenburg, where Jim began a job with the Colorado Department of Transportation. After two years in Walsenburag, the job took them to two other locations — Fowler for 20 years and Greeley for eight years. After a 31-year career with CDOT, they retired to Penrose in 1998.

Always a busy family, they were active as 4-H leaders, Jim's horse training and roping, in their church, their kids' school activities and for the past 42 years, their home-based business J & L Leather Shop, where Jim repairs boots and tack and Linda keeps the books. While in Greeley, Linda was also employed part time as bookkeeper for a grain brokerage company.

They loved to travel as a family and enjoyed many fun, interesting vacations together. In later years Jim and Linda have focused their travels on their love of history in conjunction with their membership in the Santa Fe Trail Association. They've spent hours researching the history of their families, including the genealogies and homesteads, and have visited those sites. In order to be closer to that interest, they made one more move in 2015, when they returned to the Arkansas Valley and a little areage in North La Junta. They hope to continue their hobby of history research, do a little gardening and more traveling!

It was a cold, blustery but dry day on that Sunday, Feb. 5, 1967, when Alberta Hale of Rocky Ford Floral tied a huge seven-foot tall heart to the top of her station wagon for the trip to the Christian Church in Ordway. It was the wedding day for Linda Cobb of Ordway and Jim Adkins of Rocky Ford. The young couple had hired Alberta to design the floral arrangements in Linda's chosen colors of pink and burgundy, and knowing they were using a Valentines Day theme, she also surprised them by creating the big heart out of satin, ruffles and rebar. It survived the 12-mile trip with only a few tatters to the ruffle and made a stunning backdrop for the church altar and the wedding vows. One wedding guest confided later that her 6 year old son was so impressed by the big heart, he drew a picture of it for his teacher the next week!

A few years ago, Linda spotted a picture of "their" big heart on the front page of the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette. In keeping with her desire to know the history of where the heart had been in the years since the wedding, she started researching it. She learned that when the Lindahls purchased Rocky Ford Floral in 1975, the heart was still part of the inventory. It was used in other weddings, proms and in window displays around Valentines Day. When not in use, it was stored at the company's Pine Street location. However, in 2013, 46 years after its creation, it met its demise when that building was destroyed by a devastating fire.