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Lancaster couple celebrates 74 years of marriage... and counting

With Valentine's Day around the corner
Posted at 11:37 PM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-12 23:37:09-05

"When I first saw her, I just knew I loved her," said Sammy Waller.

It's something out of a movie. Love at first sight... a feeling Sammy Waller experienced when meeting his neighbor in Chattanooga, Tennessee: Macie.

"She was the most beautiful gal I've ever seen," said Sammy. "I thought so and to me she still is!"

It's been 74 years since they got married, and the love is still growing. The couple, now in their 90's, met when they were teenagers, after Sammy borrowed a bike from Macie's cousin.

"He did ask me to go to the movies," remembered Macie. 

"The movies - yes I did!" interrupted Sammy.

Vivid like it was yesterday. Almost two years after that day, Macie changed her last name to match Sammy's.

"I said, 'will you marry me?' And she said 'when?' I said 'tomorrow'," remembered Sammy, with a big smile on his face.

He was 23, and Macie was 19.

"I can't imagine my life with anybody else," said Macie.

Shortly after, Sammy was drafted to fight in World War II. That meant more than a year of not seeing his beloved, who was pregnant with their first child.

"It was a very difficult time for me," recalled Macie.

It wasn't any easier for Sammy, who read books at night to make time pass faster.

"I thought I wouldn't see her again really... but I was fortunate," said Sammy.

He came back home to his one-year-old and the love of his life.

"When you raise a family and all, I think you really do become one," said Macie. "I feel like we're best friends."

Best friends who've lived most of their lifetime knowing, and loving each other. But the couple says there's no secret to a successful marriage... only love.

"Let them know that you love them, and you're the most beautiful, most lovely person I've ever seen," said Sammy.