LOVE LAGUNA STYLE
Our featured couple, Stan and Toni Flores, deserve recognition for 50 plus years of matrimony and exemplifying the true essence of living and loving, Laguna style.
Stan and Toni Flores
In 1956, Toni (pronounced Tawnee) boldly went where few women of the ’50s generation went in that she initiated her first date and ultimately life history by asking Stan to take her to his fraternity’s open house. The fact that Stan had previously dated most of her girlfriends did not dissuade her in the least.
They dated, got “pinned”, as was the custom, and shortly thereafter the army drafted Stan to serve in Germany for a 20 month tour.
Time was of the essence so they shopped for a ring and he promptly proposed while parked on the army base. Being unaware that he’d parked on the bombing range, he’s was abruptly ordered back to his barracks by his Sergeant just as Toni had a chance to say “yes!” to his proposal.
They married September 4, 1960, on the hottest day of the year in San Diego. The total cost of the wedding, including Toni’s gown which was hand made by her mother, was around $150. This included the invitations, stamps, flowers, church, music, and 1 pint of bourbon for the punch bowl. The 3 tiered cake at a whopping $15 along with a smaller cake for $5, representing Toni’s Grandparents’ anniversary, was included in the celebration.
Rumors swirled that Stan’s fraternity brothers were planning on kidnapping him so they ducked out of the reception and made a quick exit through the alley and hailed a cab.
Stan’s parents lent them their newly purchased car for the honeymoon and they screeched out in a puff of smoke due to the smoke bomb his best man had attached to the car. Their wedding night was spent in La Jolla followed by a picturesque drive up the coast to San Francisco, Yosemite and then home to begin the school year the next day!
Looking back on 50 years together, their greatest achievements according to Toni were a series of small achievements. Their daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters affirm a happy life together. Stan enjoyed a successful career with Xerox and was able to retire at 50. He then earned his contractors license and opened a home repair business called Cottage to Castles. Toni had a teaching career in Laguna Beach for 26 years at Top of the World Elementary and taught design and crafts in adult education. 50 years of marriage included 50 years of amazing friendships in this great community.
Their biggest challenges involved tackling various medical issues that they faced as a family. There was never an official “bucket list” but whatever their health allowed they actively participated in backpacking, camping, road trips, and sailing enjoyed with many friends.
“There are always things we’d like to change in each other but then it would not be us and it might not work.” Stan always wished Toni was more of an early bird and she always wished he was more of a night owl. Perhaps their opposite schedules contributed to the longevity of their marriage but primarily empathy and patience with one another were two central themes to their success as a couple.