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For 70th anniversary, Logans count their blessings

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Top, Lena and Leslie (Les) Logan. Above, from left, first row, Robin Robinson (daughter, with dog Lucy), Cameron Logan (grandson), Lisa Logan (daughter). Back row: Logan Robinson (grandson), Cheryl Logan (daughter in-law), Lena Logan, Leslie Logan, Russell Logan (son), Kendall Logan (granddaughter). / October 22, 2020

A lifetime together for Leslie and Lena Logan began when the two got hitched seven decades ago. Leslie Logan was 19 at the time and his new wife, Lena Revis Bradley, was the tender age of 17.

“We were young,” said Lena. Her new husband’s family had just moved to Halifax from New York City. Their union had its share of skeptics.

“Everybody said those kids don’t know what they are doing,” said Lena, laughing at the memory.

Those kids knew exactly what they were doing.

On Wednesday, the Logans celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with warm thoughts of their wedding day on Oct. 21, 1950, back when the world was a much different place and there was no way the newlyweds possibly could have known what would lie ahead in their marriage and their lives.

The outcome has been a very good one: the Logans ran successful businesses during their working years in Halifax County, became pillars in their church and in the community and most of all, raised a family that remain their pride and joy, two generations on.

Celebrating a 70th anniversary is a milestone for any couple, but the Logan children are especially appreciative of what their parents have done. “This is an incredible rarity generally and especially in the Black community, given life expectancy and other issues,” said Russell Logan, one of the couple’s four children who now lives in Northern Virginia.

“Their enduring union is an inspiration to all who know them,” he added.

Les Logan and his parents moved to Halifax from Brooklyn, N.Y. The two teens met at church and courted for about a year before they decided to tie the knot.

They were joined in holy matrimony in 1950 by the Rev. L.E. Coleman, who hosted the wedding service at his home, with the reception following at the home of Hampton and Ardelia Logan. The wedding party consisted of their mothers, Rev. Coleman and his wife, and the newlyweds themselves.

It was a tumultuous time in the world, but the Logans relied on their love to make it through. A year after their 1950 wedding, Leslie enlisted for duty in the Korean War. Half a world away from home and separated from his young bride, he would sent gifts to Lena that she has held onto and cherished ever since — Kimono dresses from his wartime service in Asia.

After the war, the Logans got on with their lives, raising a family and building several business enterprises together, most notably the Sinai West Drive-In movie theater. They are active deacon and deaconess in their place of worship, New Zion Baptist Church of Meadville.

Today, on the cusp of turning 90, both husband and wife are blessed to be in sound health, mentally and physically. On the question of how they’ve done it, one can see a part of the answer in the laughter and impish humor they share with each other.

Living with someone for so long, “You get set in your ways, you must love each other and trust each other,” said Lena. “You have to love the Lord and believe in him.”

Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, but Lena offers this advice: “Be careful not to say too much because you’ll be sorry.” And this: “Let it go — whatever it may be, say your prayers, and it will be better in the morning.”

After 70 years of matrimony, the greatest gift the Logans could wish for on their anniversary is to see their children and grandchildren doing so well in life.

“They are the most precious things on earth,” said Lena, adding that she doesn’t want to sound boastful and many others parents are just as proud of their offspring. But she’s not shy saying how much her children and grandchildren have meant to her and Leslie. “These are my kids and I can have these feelings.”

Their children are Leslie J. Logan (deceased), Lisa A. Logan, Russell B. Logan, and Robin L. Robinson. The family also includes daughter in-law Cheryl D. Logan, as well as three grandchildren: Kendall N. Logan, Logan J. Robinson and Cameron A. Logan.

The family recently gathered to celebrate Lena and Leslie’s 70th anniversary at their couple’s home, with the customary cake, photos from their seven decades together, and personal letters of congratulations from Gov. Ralph Northam, Sen. Tim Kaine, and Sen. Mark Warner. The family get-together happened on a Saturday, which is also the day of the week the Logans got married.

“Every time our special day lands on that day of the week, it has a good feeling,” said Mrs. Logan.

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