SILVIS, Ill. — The year is 1952. Elizabeth II becomes Queen of England, the Mr. Potato Head toy is sold for the first time and the average cost of a new home is $9,050.
It's also the year Harley Webb met and married Joann Webb. The Silvis couple, both 91, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 24.
The two met in February that year at the Coliseum in Davenport.
"She was looking for a chair and I was looking for a girlfriend," Harley said.
"He was good-looking and (he and his friend) were very nice," Joann said. "I sat down and started talking to him."
They weren't dating for very long before Harley left for Army training. Joann remembers writing him letters, while Harley jokes that many of the letters were the same.
Spending the first part of their marriage apart wasn't easy.
"When he came home, I went down to the depot to meet him, and that was even strange," Joann said. "You don't see somebody for 18 months and you just had gotten married, and so it was a rough few months after he first got out of service."
They've learned that no marriage is perfect. She was a city girl and he was a farm boy, but the good has always outweighed the bad.
"In your marriage, you have to adjust, but one thing we both worked pretty good at is we were hard workers," Harley said.
Seventy years, three kids, 10 grandkids and 17 great-grandkids later, they're still very much in love.
"He's just a good man, very good Christian man. And he's just very lovable. He does a lot for me now," Joann said. "I dread the thought of not having him. We've been together so long that it just, to lose your mate, it makes it that much harder."
"I don't know if it's really one thing," Harley said. "She was a good mother and she's always respected me."
The two still live in their Silvis home they built in 1962.
This Saturday, they plan to celebrate their 70th anniversary surrounded by friends and family.
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