Couple Celebrates 80 Years of Marriage

A talk with the daughter of a couple in a Scottsboro, Alabama, nursing home who just celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary. The couple married as teenagers in 1927.

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

Now the lucky couple that makes it to their 50th anniversary could expect a family reunion and gifts of gold. Make it to 60 years and tradition calls this the diamond anniversary. But what if a marriage goes even longer?

Listen to this. This past week Alonzo and Beulah Sims celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary. You heard me right. The Sims married in 1927 when Alonzo was 17 and Beulah was 14 years old. The two have not left each other side since. They live in the same room in a nursing home now in Scottsboro, Alabama. They're both in their 90s and they don't do too well on the phone so we talk to their daughter, Susie Green to find out the secrets of a long life together.

Ms. SUSIE GREEN (Daughter, Alonzo and Beulah Sims): They don't know the secret. I guest it just because they just love each other and just talk everything out.

SEABROOK: What's it like for you watching such long and storied relationship? I mean…

Ms. GREEN: Oh, it's nice. It's nice and we learn something from it too.

SEABROOK: What did you learn?

Ms. GREEN: Shoot. I learned to just respect Robert, and hope I get to stay around with him and love him as long as mom and daddy has.

SEABROOK: That's your - is that your husband?

Ms. GREEN: Yeah.

SEABROOK: Mm-hmm. Did your parents ever fight?

Ms. GREEN: Me and my sister, she's older than I am, and we was discussing that I never heard mom and daddy fight and she said she didn't neither. If they did, they did their disagreement whereas kids didn't hear them. I think mostly daddy was the boss and mom just went along with him unless it's something she absolutely didn't agree with and if she'd told him then they just worked it out.

SEABROOK: Now, what have you all done to celebrate 80 years of your parents being together?

Ms. GREEN: Well, we had them a reception up here. They got all the family come in, their great, great grandkids and grandkids. And they just had a ball which just seeing people and talking to people.

SEABROOK: Count off for me the number of kids, grandkids, and great grandkids they have.

Ms. GREEN: Oh. Okay, they had three boys and three girls.

SEABROOK: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GREEN: And then they have 16 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and six great, great grandchildren; another one on the way.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SEABROOK: Your father's had stroke. They're both - they're living in a nursing home and how do they interact?

Ms. GREEN: Well, honey, they just sit and talk to each other and of course they go play bingo and they get to go to singing together in church together. If one goes, they'll both go. They'll say do you want to go? If mama wants to go to sing and then they both go.

SEABROOK: Just true companion?

Ms. GREEN: Yup. That's it.

SEABROOK: Well, Susie Green, thank you so much for talking to us.

Ms. GREEN: Well, thank you for calling them and sharing this with us.

SEABROOK: Susie Green's parents are Alonzo and Beulah Sims and they've celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary this week in Scottsboro, Alabama.

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