They wed June 20, 1953 at St. Marys Church in Baldwinsville, Sallys hometown. After a four day honeymoon traversing New England, the Wilkes moved into an 11 X 16 cabin with no running water or power that Larry built on 5 acres in North Creek. He worked at a local woodworking shop for $1/hour, saving 50 for their Saturday night movie dates at Northwood Theatre, where Grand Union is now.
Despite hale and hearty constitutions, when the nearby creek water became too cold for bathing, they moved back to Syracuse. Sally became a mathematician for Carrier Corporation and they welcomed baby Barbara. After Larry was drafted to work in an Army hospital in Waltham, Massachusetts, their daughter Patricia arrived. Upon his discharge from the service, Larrys new job with Standard Furniture Company moved the family to Herkimer, where sons Michael and Richard were born.
Still avid nature lovers, the Wilkes spent weekends in their tiny cabin until 1963, when the state purchased their land to develop Gore Mountain. They built a camp by Balm of Gilead Brook, moving there to live full-time in 1988. Larry taught cross-country skiing at Highwinds and was Ski School Director at Garnet Hill. Sally ran the local blood drive, was a swimming instructor for the Red Cross and worked at Gore, which she still does along with being the North Country Ministry Treasurer. Theyre both active in the White Water Derbys canoe races.
The Wilkes relish their time sailing, skiing, swimming and hiking and have passed their passion for the rustic life on to their kids and 11 grandchildren, who enjoy adventures like moonlight kayaking. With a mutual fondness for northern landscapes, Larry and Sally have traveled to Newfoundland, Norway and Alaska, but their favorite place is right here at home. Both agree they dont need to go anywhere to have fun.