Fred and Alma Schweigert

It all started in 1936 when the pretty hired girl was hanging out the laundry and the handsome grocery boy came to the back door to make a delivery.

This year, on Aug. 22, the two of them will be marking their 70th wedding anniversary.

To celebrate the event the Schweigerts hosted a group of family members on Saturday, Aug. 4, at a festive anniversary dinner at the Alisal Ranch in Solvang.

Both the bride and groom reminisced about their married years, from their meeting in Hebron, N.D., to their separation while he went to college in California and she took nurses training in Minnesota to their eventual marriage in 1942 — she now is a graduate registered nurse and he is a lieutenant in the Army.

The war years sent them on several deployments in the U.S. before Fred was sent to England to serve with Patton’s army in the invasion of Europe.

After the war they moved to California where Fred began a career with the J.C. Penney Company, serving as general manager for eight different stores in Southern California.

During this time they raised two children, both of whom have had professional careers — the late Dr. Byron Schweigert, who served as C.E.O. of the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and Carmen Schweigert Earp, a counselor and teacher specializing in children with special needs.

In 1974 Fred and Alma retired to Solvang, where Fred worked in real estate for several years.

They joined the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, where both served in several different ways through the years.

Alma was a charter member in forming Chapter TX of the P.E.O. Sisterhood in 1975 and has played an active role there as an officer and committee member.

They are spending their golden years in their new “penthouse” atop the home of their daughter, Carmen, and son-in-law Terry, and keeping in touch with their four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as they joined the family in celebrating the 70 years of marriage of the hired girl and the grocery boy.