The Secret to a Long Marriage? It's Simple

SPARKS, NV - Marcia and Johnnie Jenkins have an extra reason to celebrate this Valentine's Day. It's also their 50th anniversary.

It all began with a chance meeting, an introduction by mutual friends at a local bowling alley. The chemistry was certainly there.

"He was kind of cute," Marcia says.

"Back then," he adds with a laugh.

They were both seniors at Sparks High and Johnnie knew a good thing when he saw it.

"I just found out where she lived."

"Johnnie was never shy," she adds.

Their first date quickly followed. Soon they were seeing a lot of each other.

"We'd go to the park for lunch." remembers Marcia. "I was living in Sun Valley then and he'd drive me back."

Marriage followed graduation.

It's no surprise it's Marcia that remembers the details.

"I can't really remember a lot." he says, glancing hopefully at his wife. "Do you remember ?"

She does.

A relative in another state was a jeweler. Johnnie's brother returned from a trip with a ring set.

Did he get down on his knees?

"Johnnie's not a get-down-on-his-knees person," Marcia says. "I think we just proposed to each other. We had relatives who said it wouldn't last."

"And now they're divorced," he adds with a laugh.

And they've pretty much done everything together since.

Along the way there were two kids and four grandchildren.

In all those years, Johnnie says he's never forgotten an anniversary or a Valentine's Day. Of course, he lucked out because it's easy to remember anniversaries when it's right there on the calendar.

They say there were arguments, but no serious ones and they've arrived at their 50th anniversary with their bond stronger than ever.

So, of course, we have to ask,

What's the secret? They say it's simple.

"We love each other," says Johnnie.

"Very much," says Marcia.."We've had a good life."

"You've got to have the want and will to stay married and you better marry the right person. That's one thing."

One thing they did miss fifty years ago was a Honeymoon. They simply didn't have the money.

They'll finally correct that this May with a cruise in the Hawaiian Islands.

Congratulations you two. Happy anniversary and Valentine's Day.


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