Anchorage couple celebrates 50 years of love despite COVID-19 restrictions
Saturday, April 25th, 1970, Nixon was in the White House, the Jackson Five were burning up the charts with their hit song "ABC" and a lovely couple from Chicago were exchanging vows.
"It was probably the best day of our lives until our kids came along," says Chuck Szopa as he looked glowingly at his wife Carol.
The happy couple wanted to celebrate their 50-year union but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it's many restrictions, they had to get a little creative. So on the day when they renewed their vows Chuck and Carol also brought out some of the items from their wedding week including Carol's bridal gown and Chuck's military blues which he received just days after their nuptials.
"I was looking through an old steamer trunk for something, I was on a mission, and I came across the clothes and I thought... Oh, this would really be fun to see if we can wear these," exclaimed Carol with a brimming smile on her face.
Dressed in their very best from five decades ago the Szopa's visited neighbors, friends, and family, all while keeping the appropriate social distance. Six feet it seems was close enough to deliver the desired effect.
"We had a lot of smiles on our faces, some on their faces, you know a lot of them, and a lot of laughs." Said Chuck.
Some 50 years after saying "I do" this young at heart couple still seems to have a brightly burning love. When asked about seeing her husband all dressed up Carol said: "oh he looked pretty sharp, very sharp."
Meanwhile, Chuck had his own reaction to seeing his bride in white once again. "It was pretty amazing because to my recollection she hadn't worn it since the day we got married. It was really awesome to see that she fit in it," said Chuck as Carol added a hearty laugh.
To those looking for love or perhaps looking to preserve it, I had to ask, what's the secret to such longevity.
"You have to start out with the commitment, no matter what happens, you're gonna get through it. That's the first thing. And the other thing is you forgive each other for things along the way," said Carol.
Good advice from a woman who knows a thing or two about building a life with your partner.
So cheers to the not so newlyweds, for 50 years of love and hopefully many more still to come. May the be an example to all of us.