Forever and Our Two Days

“The South Pacific was pretty rough, even for the Navy,” M. Baxter Sowell Jr. ’83 said. He took some time on a Friday morning in early February to reflect on his parents — their love story, which really began with his father’s service in World War II.

It was through the G.I. Bill that Morgan B. Sowell Sr. ’51, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina, was able enroll at Clemson University and major in agricultural education. He became the first person in his family to go to college.

“I remember him saying how revered the war veterans were by the cadets on campus,” Baxter said. “It was almost like when they walked down the hall, the other students would come to attention for them and turn their backs to the wall. Just kind of paid deference to what they had done because people his age, their senior trip was the South Pacific. It wasn’t much of a senior cruise.”

Clemson was still an all-male, military college in the late ’40s and ’50s, and it was common for the cadets to pile on buses on the weekends and head over to Winthrop for dances and other social events with the college girls. It was one such dance where Morgan Sowell met his future wife, a business management student by the name of Jean DuBose.

They fell in love.

“My parents spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite of the Clemson House,” Baxter said, a smile in his voice. “I just thought that was a great love story.”

Both Jean and Morgan graduated from college in the spring of 1951. In June, they were married in Orangeburg and spent their wedding night driving back up to Clemson. Their honeymoon destination was the newly constructed Clemson House, the hotel on the hill that overlooked campus, lit up by its neon orange sign.

“My dad, being young and just back from the war and a recent graduate, wasn’t wealthy by any standard,” Baxter continued. “So, he ordered up a standard room from the guy behind the counter, who was also a war vet.”

The fellow veteran slipped the newlyweds the key to the presidential suite with a wink.

“My parents spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite of the Clemson House,” Baxter said, a smile in his voice. “I just thought that was a great love story.”

The Sowells returned to Orangeburg County, where Morgan spent the rest of his life as a farmer. Morgan and Jean had been married for more than 30 years when Morgan passed away in the late ’80s. Jean passed away about 5 years ago.

“My mom never remarried because she had one love, and that was him.”

Baxter recently found some old pictures of his parents’ wedding and their memorable honeymoon trip to Clemson House. He also stumbled upon some vintage valentines, where Morgan penned “his little motto with my mom about loving her forever and ‘our two days’ because forever and a day wasn’t long enough.”

The card reads, “Love always, forever and our two days. Your Husband.”

 

 

 

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