COLUMBUS, OH – They were once teenagers in love, but then they had to go their separate ways, each finding love in another.
But now, some sixty years later, their love story has resumed.
It all started with a high school dance in 1956.
"And he said, ‘well, why are you trembling?’ I said, ‘because I don’t know how to dance.’ So he said, ‘well, that’s okay, you can learn to dance.’ And, after that, we started going steady,” said Anette Harvey.
“She was the most beautiful woman, which she still is today, that I have ever seen in my life,” said Bob Harvey.
Yes, it was love at first dance.
“I became madly in love with her. I would have run away with her. I think that’s why they sent her back to Kentucky,” said Bob.
It seems sometimes love has to wait.
These high school sweethearts punched separate dance cards.
Bob married Diane in 1959.
Annette married john in 1961.
“This woman who’d been gentle on my mind became an obsessive on my mind,” said Bob.
And that’s when bob found out Annette was a widow. He was, too. So, last July, he sent her a condolence card.
“Dear Annette, life is a journey of sweetness and sorrow, of yesterday’s memories, of hopes for tomorrow,” said Bob.
The card read more like a love letter, and it re-sparked that ember that had always been burning. So Annette picked up the phone.
"When I said, ‘Bob, this is Annette,’ he just choked up. And i said, ‘I know it’s surprising that I’m calling you,’ or something, and finally he got his voice and could talk to me.”
Bob got in his car and drove right from Virginia to Ohio the next day.
"I handed her some flowers. I said, ‘these are for you.’ I took her face in my hands. I’ve got to do this for you. Like this, I said, ‘I love you, you’re beautiful, and I’m going to kiss you whether you want me to or not.’ And we kissed, and I’m serious on this, 60 years disappeared. Poof.”
Life suddenly went from a waltz to a quickstep.
One month later they were engaged. A few months after that they said ‘I do’, celebrating with a kiss and, of course, a dance.
"She said, 'the last person I danced with was you at my cousin’s home in Woodbridge in 1956. And I said, ‘Oh, where’s the music box?’”
These days, it’s never far away.
“I am complete. I could not ask for anything more. I don’t think I can love her enough today, but there’s tomorrow where something happens, and I just love her that much more,” said Bob.
“I’ve just been very happy and thankful and feel very blessed because. At 81, you don’t ever think that you’re going to get married again, but it has really been wonderful, and I think it’s made both of us feel even younger than we are,” said Anette.