NAMPA, Idaho — They've lived in the same house since 1975. So for the Pecks of Nampa, 92 year-old Lester and 89 year-old Mary, to call them creatures of habit wouldn't exactly be a criticism. In fact, it wouldn't even be an exaggeration.
Most mornings don't even hit full stride until Mary gets going on some online gaming and Lester turns the television to 'Gunsmoke.'
"First time ol' Festus has been on for a long time," Lester says about the show they've watched since first-run episodes in the 1960s.
Many would call these the Golden Years, but for the Pecks, they're actually platinum. As of October 4, 2018 they have been married for 70 years.
Their first date was way back in 1948.
"And that was in June," recalls Mary. "We got engaged in July, and got married in October."
A whirlwind romance that lacked the romance, thanks to Lester, who popped the question in the middle of a Saturday night movie.
"He said, 'Yeah, I got an appointment with the jeweler down at the jewelry store,'" says Mary. "And I said, 'What?!' He said, 'Yeah, I went in and bought you a diamond today, I figured I was gonna ask you to marry me.'"
"She said, 'You did not,'" adds Lester, finishing the story. "I said, 'I did, here it is.'"
That kind of smooth talking seven decades ago led to seven children.
"And we got 17 grandchildren, and 34 great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren," says Mary, tallying the total of their five generations.
They also have a countless collection of family photos.
"I've made an album for each of our kids," admits Mary, setting down an armful of albums on the dining table.
Mary likes to go through them every once in a while, a reminder that the days may have gone by but the sentiments stick around.
"It's like a memory trip, I guess you'd say."
Like when she looks back on those days they used to fish together.
"My biggest catch was a 29-pound salmon," Mary says.
Of course, Lester likes to think he was her biggest catch, even if Mary thought his brother was better looking.
"Yeah," she admits. "But now I don't say that anymore."
"No, because he's gone," offers Lester with a laugh.
The secret to their marathon marriage, they say, isn't just staying together, it's making it more like a career. Working at it makes it worth it. And by putting in the time, love can be just as precious as platinum.
"More so," says Lester.
"Yeah," agrees Mary.
"It's just like an old shoe, you can't throw it away," she laughs. "If you got a comfortable pair of shoes you stick with it.
"We're just comfortable with each other."
The Pecks say they still celebrate Valentine's Day, with Lester always giving Mary roses. And Mary says he never forgets an anniversary or birthday.
Lester, a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific during World War II, says he wouldn't know what he'd do without Mary and he's not in a hurry to find out.
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