Video: Local love stories

By Juliette Laaka | Feb 14, 2014
Photo by: Juliette Laaka Vera and John Hill of Rockland have been married for 57 years. They met and married in Brookline, Mass. John said he had to muster some gumption to ask her out after he saw her for the first time walking down the street. On their first date, they went to dinner and a drive-in movie in Hartford, Conn. and didn't return home until 2 a.m. The reason they traveled so far for a date? John had a new car he wanted to try out. Vera's advice to young couples is to make sure you take your time getting to know someone. " I've been married to him for 57 years and he still shocks me," she said laughing. John, living in Maine while Vera was still in Boston for a time, would pick her up at the train station in Portland. John said during this time he got warnings for speeding. "But you told them I was worth it," said Vera.

Local couples share their stories in celebration of Valentine's Day.

Local love stories
(Video by: Juliette Laaka)
Chris and Crystal Robinson of Cushing wrote letters for eight years while they were separated until they were married by a postman in a small Swiss village.They met in Union in 1972, when Crystal said, at 15, she had buck teeth, glasses held together with duct tape, and pig tails. " I couldn't see very well, but I thought he was pretty cute, " she said. Chris said this was a saving grace, because at 17, he had hair down to his shoulders and pimples. He also wore red, white and blue stripped pants he bought in Rockland for a dollar. Crystal said the pants were horrendous and Chris said he thought they were pretty cool. "Neither of us were prizes," Crystal said. Chris, returning home to Switzerland after a year spent in Thomaston at his family's home, would write letters to Crystal about the fields, forests and poetry. He signed letters as Christopher the Great. Crystal would soak her letters in cheap perfume, hang them on the line to dry, then send them to Chris in Europe, signing them Crystal the Sea Hag. When they first met, Crystal said Chris had a scowl. He agreed he did, but said he had a feeling Crystal was the one when they met. Compatibility and sharing common interests is an important aspect to a healthy and happy partnership, they said. (Courtesy of: Chris and Crystal Robinson)
Eliza Colson Richards met her husband, Lloyd Richards, on a Saturday night at the rollerskating rink. Lloyd had just returned home after three years in the service during WWII. The pair waited to marry until she was 18. Eliza turned 18 on April 25, and on the 26, they were married. " I thought that was pretty good, " said Lloyd, now 92. They were separated only twice in their marriage until Eliza's passing in December 2013. Lloyd said money never has, and doesn't now, mean anything to him. He said happiness is more important. " And we had it," he said of he and Eliza. Throughout their 64 years together, they never had an argument. "No sir, we never did," Lloyd said."I would give everything I own if she was still here," he said. (Courtesy of: Lloyd Richards)
Kari and Rodney Brooks of Thomaston met their junior year at Georges Valley High School and have been married for 35 years. "Basically I went out with him because he had a car... an orange Ranchero," said Kari. She also recalls Rodney wore cowboy boots when nobody else did. "I thought he was kind of different, " she said. Rodney said they instantly clicked when they met. Living in Florida at the time, they were married in Maine Aug. 4,1979, and spent their honeymoon on Crawford Lake in Union. " We were so young and didn't have any money, and we had a '57 Chevy Rodney was working on that didn't have reverse, so we had to make sure we could get out of places," Kari said. Her birthday is Feb. 14, so she spent a lot of birthdays and Valentine's Days in the grandstand during race week in Daytona while Rodney worked as part of a pit crew. " I always sent a note to the announcer to say 'Happy Birthday,'" Rodney said. Their advice to young couples is to work through problems because it is worth it. "And become best friends before you bring all the life in, including bills and how to support yourselves," Kari said. Marrying in their early '20s, the couple said they grew up together, became best friends, and had a lot of fun. (Photo by: Juliette Laaka)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Kathy S Ball | Feb 16, 2014 08:32

I first met John and Vera Hill when I was 8 years old...that was 52 years ago! It does my heart good to see that they are still in love. They are very special folks, and their love story is inspiring.



Posted by: Rosemarie Richter | Feb 14, 2014 16:51

Sweet stories!  Very refreshing.



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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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