BY GINNA PARSONS
BLUE SPRINGS – Ten years ago this week, twin sisters Candy and Sandy Strickland said “I do” to twin brothers Gary and Jerry Thrasher. And the four have been almost inseparable ever since.
After the March 16 double-wedding ceremony, the four lived together in the same house in Blue Springs. Then Candy and Gary moved to Booneville while Sandy and Jerry chose Jumpertown.
“Even then, we were at one another's house most evenings,” said Sandy. “We were in different towns but only about 10 minutes apart.”
The separation really bothered the young women, who call themselves sisters, best friends and sisters-in-law. Even though they both worked at Bauhaus in Saltillo and spent nights together, it wasn't enough.
So when Sandy and Jerry got an opportunity to live next door to Candy and Gary, who had moved back to Blue Springs, they jumped at the chance.
“I always knew we'd end up close together because he's my best buddy,” Jerry said of his twin.
“Sometimes we wonder what it would be like if we didn't live next door to each other and work at the same place,” Sandy said.
They'll probably never know the answer to this question because they don't plan on separating again anytime soon.
Wedding for four
The four met at church in 1990 but were just friends for years. Then in 1994, Sandy and Jerry went to a Valentine's Day banquet, liked what they saw and began dating.
“Candy would be with us, and we'd go out and drop Gary at a friend's house,” Jerry said. “Next thing we knew, they was sitting in the back seat holding hands – drawn together like magnets, I guess.”
After two years of courtship, Sandy and Jerry set a wedding date and asked Candy and Gary to be a part of the ceremony.
“Two weeks before they got married, we decided to go ahead and get married, too,” Candy said. The double ceremony was performed by Bro. Braxton Rutland at Soul's Harbor Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Guntown.
“My mother always said, Y'all are going to end up marrying those twins,'” Jerry said.
“We should have run away then,” Gary deadpanned, shooting his wife a grin across the room.
But no one did run away and each couple has two children to prove it. Ten-year-old Bryson and 8-year-old Chase belong to Sandy and Jerry, while Candy and Gary have 6-year-old Lindsay and 14-month-old Austin.
“We live next to each other and we've always worked at the same place, but we never did get pregnant at the same time,” Sandy said.
Pardon me, ma'am
The four describe themselves as homebodies. They don't travel much and they've never taken a big family vacation together, but they figure if one decided to venture somewhere, they'd all end up going.
They share the same hobbies and passions: playing pool, fishing, eating out. Many evenings, they enjoy preparing dinner at one house or the other. But then there are dishes to do, which usually isn't a problem, unless you're married to a woman who is the mirror image of her sister.
“One night, they was both washing dishes and they changed places at the sink,” Jerry said. “I came up behind Candy and put my hand on her shoulder and massaged it a little and said, I love you, honey.' And she turned around and said, I love you, too.'”
All four laugh at that one – and only one – instance of twin confusion. And that's not so bad for 10 years of marriage, which the couple will celebrate with a night on the town at one of their favorite restaurants.
And after the 10-year mark passes?
“Then we'll go for another 10 and then 20 and then 30,” Jerry said.
“Nah,” Gary joked. “At 25 years, we're gonna swap wives.”
Contact Ginna Parsons at 678-1581 or firstname.lastname@example.org