On their 57th anniversary, James “Jim” Russell showed up to his wife Elinor’s hospital room wearing a tuxedo and carrying flowers and chocolate.
“We’ve known each other all our lives. We just never paid attention to each other for some time,” Elinor told ABC News today. “I’ve known her since she was in pigtails,” said Jim.
Jim says he can remember Elinor for as long as he can remember.
They grew up near each other in neighboring towns in Georgia, but he didn’t pay much attention to her at the time.
He went to a military college, and upon graduation two years later, “a draft card was waiting for me” and Jim went off to fight in World War II. Jim became a combat bomber pilot, flying 30 missions over Germany in a B-24 Liberator. After the war, he went to Georgia Tech thanks to the GI Bill, and then their friendship kindled.
On May 20, 1958, Jim and Elinor eloped “on a dark, stormy day,” she said.
The couple does not have any set tradition for celebrating their anniversary, in fact, their son Bo said they “like to keep their anniversary low key” and they usually go out to dinner and Jim will bring his wife flowers or chocolate. Elinor said that “we always went out and celebrated.” One year they went to Rome and for their 50th anniversary, they went to Hawaii but “we usually stayed close to home,” Elinor said.
As a couple, they joined a dance club and would go ballroom dancing every weekend, their son Bo said.
Read more: ABC News
my grandma is in the hospital, but it's their 57th anniversary, so he showed up in a tux to surprise her w flowers?❤️ pic.twitter.com/wIS8rvcyDw
— reid (@reidrussell_) May 21, 2015