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Separated for 63 years, 80-year-old high school sweethearts pick up their love story and will wed

2019-09-27

When Annette Adkins and Bob Harvey kissed on the front steps of her home last month, 63 years melted away.

The two had first fallen in love during their junior year at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Va., back in 1955.

“She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life,” Harvey told the Newark Advocate of central Ohio. “I fell madly, totally and one-hundred percent in love with her. We had a wonderful junior year.”

Their prom photos told it all — except that they were lost for decades, undeveloped in a camera.

The youngsters went their separate ways after Adkins fell for someone else, whom she later married.

Heartbroken, Harvey conceded defeat. He went on to marry too, and both had their own families, the Advocate reported Thursday.

They thought about one another over the ensuing years, though.

And a series of events drew them together after their respective spouses died.

Harvey had stumbled across Adkins’ husband’s obituary, while Adkins had found the photos — now developed — and started wondering, and searching.

When they finally got back in touch by phone, Harvey dropped everything and drove 500 miles from Virginia to her door in Ohio, bearing flowers. Arriving, he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.

It was “like 1956 all over again,” they told the Advocate.

The lovebirds, now 80, plan to marry next month.

In many ways, Harvey and Adkins are picking up where they left off. For their “first” date, Harvey chose a 1950s-diner-themed restaurant, with jukeboxes, cushy padded circular booths and décor reminiscent of a 1957 Chevy Bel Air, the Advocate noted.

Adkins sports a 1950s vintage ring.

And Johnny Mathis still forms the soundtrack to their enduring romance.

“I think sometimes I can’t love her more, but then there’s tomorrow,” Harvey told the Advocate.

And that will last at least “until the Twelfth of Never,” he said, quoting one of Mathis’ most famous lines. “And that’s a long, long time.”