-- Clemma and Sterling Elmore fell for each other practically the moment that they met, going steady soon after and marrying each other four months later. That was 57 years ago and their love is still going strong.
“He said the first time that he laid eyes on me that he said ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry,’” Clemma Elmore, 76, said in Tuesday interview with ABC News.
As it turns out, she was the one who asked him. One day they were listening to a radio broadcast in which a man asked a woman to marry him. As a joke, she repeated the question to Sterling.
“And he says ‘yes.’ And I thought ‘Oh, did he mean that?’” the Wewoka, OK, woman said. “I didn’t want to ask him. I wanted him to ask me.”
He did mean it, and they tied the knot that following Saturday.
Asked about the secret to their enduring love, Elmore -– who had two children with her husband -- said couples should put God first in their lives and their marriage, work at their relationship and respect each other. She also attributed their relationship’s longevity “to the fact that we never fail to tell each other, probably 10 times a day, ‘I love you.’”
That tender love was on full display Friday when photographer Stacy Welch-Christ got them together in a pasture for a photo shoot inspired by the film “The Notebook.”
The Elmores were initially very nervous but soon were able to relax, Welch-Christ said.
With a vintage truck in the background recalling the era in which the hit romantic drama was set, Elmore and her 80-year-old husband kissed, hugged, held hands, laughed and displayed pictures from their early time together. The photo collection was posted on the photographer’s Facebook page, where inspired viewers had shared it more than 37,000 times as of Tuesday night.
Clemma Elmore said she and her husband are staggered by the response. She said she was even recognized in another town by a cashier who had seen the photos on Facebook.
“We are totally overwhelmed. It just has got us just – well, we’re just humbled by the comments,” she said.
Amber Christ said her grandparents, whom she called “papaw” and “nanaw,” deserve all the accolades they’re receiving.
“Oh I just adore them,” the 34-year-old Christ, who is Welch-Christ's sister-in-law, said. “They set the example for us growing up as to what a marriage should be like and they always had unconditional love for their family and towards each other and they’re just role models for all of us to live up to, and of course they’ve always spoiled me with love.”
The Elmores will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary in February. And, yes, they are both big fans of “The Notebook.”
“I love that movie. We both love that movie. Such a sweet movie,” Clemma Elmore said, adding: “We have seen it twice.”