Bill and Bonnie Arnold have 70 years of stories together.

Bill and Bonnie Arnold have 70 years of stories together.
Most are fishing stories, wonderful memories surrounded by family and hard-working days.
"We've enjoyed 70 years," Bill said. "It's been a good life. The best years were when we retired and went fishing everywhere where there's water. We hauled our boat and camper, went with grandkids, and just had a great time."
Bonnie, who would have graduated with the Carthage High School Class of 1948 had she not met Bill, said they are, and have been, very blessed.
"We never had a lot of money, but we always paid our bills," she said. "We never took a penny we didn't earn – didn't think it was right."
And to start off, they didn't have many pennies.
Bill was 17 years old when he joined the U.S. Navy. On a 30-day leave from Guam, Bill came home to Lamar. He and his buddy got in the car to go "look for girls in Carthage." They drove to the Carthage Square where they spotted Bonnie (Dodson) and a co-worker taking a break from the five-and-dime. To their surprise, the girls welcomed the invitation to go for a ride. The only draw-back was Bill was driving and Bonnie got in the backseat.
They enjoyed each other's company for a while, but at the end of their time together, Bill drove all the way back to Carthage to ask Bonnie out on a date. It wasn't long after that they were married by a one-arm judge in Girard, Kan., April 18, 1947.
"That was love at first sight, and we never went back," Bill said, 70 years later.
There wasn't a wedding picture, but a picture was made of the couple six months after their marriage in 1947.
Bill served two years in the Navy, and he and Bonnie started their family in Washington. Bonnie earned her nursing license in 1959.
In the 1960s, Bill and Bonnie ran an old fashioned drug store, with a soda fountain bar, in Lamar. It was around this time, Bonnie worked at the Barton County Hospital as a nurses aid. She earned her LPN, and after they moved to Carthage in 1970, she worked at McCune-Brooks Hospital, St. John's Hospital and then an orthopedic surgeons group in Joplin.
Bill served 25 years with H.E. Williams, Inc., before retiring at the age of 62.
Bill and Bonnie have two sons, Gary and Ken; four grandchildren (two step-grandchildren) and four great-grandchildren.
The Arnolds agreed they were proud of their family, but offered no advice on how to be married for 70 years.
"Heavens no, we don't have any advice," Bonnie said. "Everybody's different."
"I always liked our arguments because making up was fun," Bill said.
"I never thought about divorce but I did think of murder," Bonnie said in jest.
A short moment of laughs and smiles passed, and then Bill leaned forward and said, "maybe I'm old-fashioned, but when you make a commitment, you make a commitment – we live on principles."