By Pat Caldwell
NYSSA – The day was beautiful.
That’s what lingers in Paula Weston’s memory about the time she first saw her husband, Daryl, in 1963.
Paula and her three sons were on an excursion to a lake near their home in Oroville, Calif., when a cattle truck came by.
Paula distinctly saw the driver. The truck driver saw them, too, and gave a blast on the truck horn and rolled out of sight.
Seven years later, she was a widow and needed income from pasture rents. That driver, Daryl Weston, who was a grocery store manager by day, came to her home to ask about putting cows on her place.
Romance followed and the pair married. They later realized they had met – sort of – years before at that California lake.
On April 20, Daryl and Paula Weston will celebrate 43 years of marriage. That follows another highlight from earlier this year, when they were chosen the Nyssa Chamber of Commerce’s Citizens of the Year.
“We were stunned,” Paula Weston.
The praise from the community surprised her.
“It was fantastic,” she said.
Daryl and Paula have been a part of life in Nyssa for almost 40 years. They arrived in town in 1978 when they took over the IGA grocery store.
The couple said they enjoyed operating the IGA store but it wasn’t an easy gig.
“In the beginning we did everything,” Paula said.
Eventually the Westons employed 10 people at the IGA store and they said Nyssa was a competitive environment for grocery stores.
“The big thing, when we bought the store, there was all kinds of stores here — IGA, M&W, Ray’s Food Fair,” Daryl said.
Yet Daryl and Paula managed to survive economically and to thrive. The reason? Simple, they said.
“When you have three (grocery) stores in town its customer service,” Paula said.
Pushing the profile of IGA higher in the community was crucial as well. So, the Weston’s sponsored events – such as drawings. They held a dance out in the IGA parking lot with soap flakes were poured over the pavement so dancers could slide.
“We had old-time fiddlers on a goose-necked trailer. We were always in every parade,” Paula said.
Another part of their success revolved around the Golden Rule.
“We always treated everyone equally,” Paula said. “We treated people the way you’d like to be treated. What you put out is what you get back. We always did well.”
“That worked every time everywhere,” he said.
They operated the store until 1992 and then went back to California.
“We were just going to stay six weeks,” Paula said but stayed for 18 years before returning to the Treasure Valley.
“Everyone remembered us,” Paula said.
Now, they are involved with the Nyssa Senior Center – Paula is the secretary – and they don’t appear to be ready to slow down. They do a little bit of everything at the senior center.
“We kind of organize things. We go in in the morning and get the warming ovens going, make coffee, get the sign-in sheet ready. I also do the birthday board every month. Right now we are getting ready for a collectables show,” Paula said.
No one would blame them if they decided to dial back their activities. Paula is 82, Daryl 87. But that isn’t how they operate.
“We don’t call it work. We enjoy it. We like to keep busy,” Daryl said.
What’s the secret to their energy?
“We eat natural. And we take naps,” Paula said.
Paula said they respect and appreciate each other.
“We have never taken each other for granted. We’ve been so blessed. People say we are lucky but we are blessed,” Paula said.
Daryl agreed with his wife and then seemed lost in thought for a long moment. Then he smiled at his wife.
“It has been an awesome period well spent together,” he said.
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