To celebrate his parents’ 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 9, Keith Provost presented his parents with a congratulatory letter from the White House signed by President Joe Biden.
A meaningful gift on its own, but there was more that made it special.
“It’s part of a set of letters,” said their son.
“When they got married in 1961, my mother sent an invitation to the White House,” he said.
“We invited the Kennedys,” recalled Beatrice “Bea” Provost.
“Of course we got a letter back from the White House,” said her husband, Edward “Ed” Provost.
Their son learned about that letter around the time of his parents’ 50th anniversary, so he wrote to the White House and obtained a congratulatory letter from the Obamas.
Now 10 years later, he said it was only fitting to write to the White House again and get a third letter for the collection.
Although he contacted the White House in April, he said he didn’t hear anything back until he followed up last month.
“About a week and a half ago I contacted Jennifer Wexton’s office,” he said.
Not sure whether his call made a difference, he said he’s willing to give Wexton’s office the credit since less than a week later, the letter arrived in the mail.
Ed, 84, and Bea, 81, have lived in Woodstock since 1980, their son said. They met in Massachusetts, where they married.
The couple has five children — David, Stephen, twins Keith and Kevin, and daughter Lisa — along with nine grandchildren.
Along with some other relatives, all four sons made it to their parents’ 60th-anniversary celebration, traveling from Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon and Delaware.
“We have a crazy house,” said their mother on Thursday. “Our children are making us a nice dinner for our anniversary, which is today.”
Their daughter, who lives in Georgia, plans to visit this fall when her daughters get a break from school.
Having the three presidential letters is “really cool,” said Bea Provost.
Though she said the collection is likely complete, she’s remaining open to future developments.
“I don’t think we’ll be having any more presidents,” she said. But in the case of a 70th anniversary, “Why not?”