Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


A True Valentines tale of lifelong love


February 10, 2017

Once upon a time in Aztec, two people met, married, started their family, and are still living happily every after. This is a Valentine's story of those two people - Cyd and Frank James.

Cyd (Bennett) grew up in Aztec on Lover's Lane, and then moved into the living quarters of the Aztec Hotel (now called Miss Gail's Inn) with her mother, two sisters and a brother. Cyd's family owned the hotel all those years ago.

A couple of blocks to the east, on South Mesa Verde Ave., Frank, then a high school student, was living with his family: mom, dad, two sisters and one brother. They had moved there from the Flora Vista area.

Eventually, Cyd and Frank met ... they were both attending a sports banquet at Aztec High School when Cyd caught Frank's eye, and he asked her out for a date.

A while later, on Valentine's Day 1976, Cyd and Frank were married. Their family, over the years, grew to include three sons: Mike lives here in Aztec, Matt is in Carlsbad, NM, and Stephen is in Cincinnati, Ohio. Today, those three sons have given Cyd and Frank nine grandchildren. The latest of those grandchildren, Anna Gayle James, was born in January of this year, and the happy grandparents haven't had the chance to meet her yet.

Cyd and Frank's years together have held many adventures. While they lived here in Aztec, Frank became a refrigerator/heating/air conditioning technician and then started his own company. He was also a pastor in various places. Cyd was involved in her children's education, and then made the move to home school them.

"We have moved over 30 times, and I've lost count, but we have seen a lot of different places," Cyd recalls. "We went to Alaska to help my mom when she had cancer, and that was an adventure."

In 1993, the couple moved their family to Papua, New Guinea, where Frank continued his missionary work. "We felt blessed to be able to help people in a third world county with, not only Bible teaching, but tutoring in school subjects (especially literacy) and music, and then we did a lot of doctoring. I relied on a book called, 'Where there is no Doctor,''' she said. They have also traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong and various places in Australia, where they live now.

During their time in New Guinea, Cyd contracted Malaria several times and now suffers from health issues from that infectious disease that is prevalent there. She added, "I got used to being robbed in Papua, and felt it was one more adventure!"

They said that, being imperfect people like everyone else, they sometimes don't agree on things, but they quickly resolve the issue and move on. "I have to say that Frank and I knew from a young age that we wanted to be together," Cyd said, and they work to make that happen.

Cyd and Frank both agree that the small things in life are some of the best: air conditioning ... "When we moved to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 1998, it was exciting that we were going to have an apartment that actually had air conditioning," she recalls.

They feel that some of their fondest memories might seem silly to some. "We are often apart because of Frank's work or my health, or something. Yet, we still get excited (to this day) when we see each other again!"

So, once again, happy anniversary, and happy Valentine's Day to a couple who have made a life together, and still love to be together!

Now that's a Valentine's story!


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