By Scott Halasz
BEAVERCREEK — A funny thing happened to Yudh Vir Rajput when he went to visit the Beavercreek home in which he and Indra Sandhu were married 50 years ago.
He couldn’t find it.
As the July 12 golden anniversary date approached, the longtime Beavercreek resident wanted to see the house, reminisce a little bit and maybe even show the grandchildren some day. But he didn’t recognize anything. All the street numbers had changed. He was looking for 3129 Firewood Drive, but the houses were numbered in the 1100s.
He knew for sure he was on the right street in the right neighborhood.
But something was wrong.
“That made it a little more intriguing for me,” Rajput said. “I’m going around this street. I’m seeing this pool (Woodhaven). Finally I make the loop (around the neighborhood) complete. I said ‘what do I have to do here?’ “
Then the plot became more interesting. On his way home, Rajput saw an older man in a driveway and asked him if he knew where 3129 was. The man, William Cullen, said he had lived in his home on Firewood for 30 years and the street numbers had been the same. Rajput knocked on another door and asked another longtime resident.
“She says, ‘I don’t know, maybe the city changed,’ ” Rajput said. Looking at a wedding picture, the lady suggested that the home he was looking for could, in fact, be Cullen’s house.
Rajput went back to that house and decided it wasn’t the same house.
Back to square one.
Rajput had two more homes to investigate. One had matching brick, and he eventually stopped there. He knocked on the door and explained that he wasn’t a salesman and explained his situation. The owners, Grant and Susan Huston, invited Rajput in and told him the previous owners were meticulous about keeping records of any and all work done on the home at 1141 Firewood Drive.
“He said ‘Oh look, there’s a receipt here and it has this address, 3129 Firewood Drive.’ That was perfect proof,” Rajput said. “Everything connected. He said, ‘I bet you have the right place.’ “
Indeed, Rajput had found the home. According to Ken LeBlanc, executive director of Greene County Regional Planning, the county used Montgomery County’s numbering system until the early 1970s, at which time Greene County began numbering, causing some plats to have new numbers assigned.
“This became sort of a side thing,” Rajput said. “I didn’t think it would become that much of an adventure.”
Rajput was happy finally having reconnected with the home, which at the time belonged to James Oliver, who was Defense Electronic Supply Center commander, and his wife, Evelyn. The Olivers were surrogate parents to Sandhu, who was a a student at the University of Dayton. Rajput was teaching at UD while finishing up his doctorate degree.
Sandhu’s parents, Col. Bishan Singh and Gurcharan Kaur Sandhu, were in India and unable to travel to the United States.
“(The Olivers) said, ‘We will handle that, we will take care of it,’ ” Rajput said.
So what is widely known as the first Indian wedding — with all the traditions — took place in Beavercreek Township.
The couple has spent the bulk of the marriage in their home on Carthage Drive in the city of Beavercreek.
Rajput offered sage-like advice when ask how they made their marriage last so long.
“It’s a constant, continuous adjustment,” Rajput said. “The more you live together, the more you learn about the partner. When we are dating, we are on our best behavior. (After getting married) we no longer have to be dressed up.”
Sandhu had her own interesting take on marriage survival.
“When people as you, you’re supposed to glorify,” she said. “At least we’re together. Ups and downs, fights and all other stuff went into it. It’s a number.”
For Rajput’s sake, not a street number.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.