On this Valentine’s Day, Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey is sharing some special love stories from our area, viewers’ plans & how some viewers met their special someone.
PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It’s a love story that began long before Amy and Cristian Rivera could drive a car.
“Well, you know, some people say high school sweetheart. We met in middle school. We’ve known each other since sixth grade. We were eleven and twelve years old when we first met,” said Amy. “We actually met on the school bus. I kind of walked around his house a few times with my friend, getting him to come outside. And then from there, we ended up just being best friends, riding bikes together, hanging out with the same people.”
Amy says she kind of walked around Cristian’s house a few times when they were in middle school. Ryan asked Crisitian, “Was she stalking you?”
“Yeah, absolutely,’ said Cristian. “Yes, a stalker.”
The couple from Scranton would eventually date others in high school, but “at the end, when someone is your true soulmate and best friend, you kind of just make it work,” said Amy.
Twenty-one years later, they’re still the best of friends, officially married for five years this coming Thursday with two kids.
So, what is their secret for success?
“Is trust, honestly. And building from that, like, the small things matter. Whatever I lack at, she picks up,” said Cristian. “She’s the biggest cheerleader I have.”
And from middle school sweethearts to a love story now 72 years strong, Harold & Betty Yaple from the Shickshinny area have quite a story to tell.
“We actually met at the New Columbus Church when we were teenagers,” said Harold.
After going steady for a bit, as Harold and Betty described it, they took a break and soon realized, “We knew that we needed each other,” said Betty.
So, about a year after graduating from Benton High School in 1948, the couple got married on New Year’s Eve. At the time, Harry S. Truman was President.
The Yaple’s eventually had four children which grew into 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
It’s going to those children’s school sporting events that the couple credits for helping them stay active and feel young.
“That was really fun for us,” said Betty.
Both Harold and Betty are now 91 years old. Their granddaughter, Molly, says they’re always on the move.
“They have walked almost all their lives up and down the road. Grandpa still hangs Christmas lights. He still is the one that mows the lawn, goes out to the barn. They’re truly amazing,” said Molly.
And if it’s not outdoor activities or a family get-together, the former dairy farmer turned investments guru Harold says his favorite part of spending time with his bride is simply just relaxing while watching their favorite TV shows.
Ryan asked Betty, “Be honest, Betty. Do you usually get your way, and Harold agrees with you or is it vice versa?”
“I get my way sometimes, but I think that it’s pretty much even. Half and half, I’d say, but we get along pretty well,” said Betty. “We like to do the same things, and I think that is one of the things that attracted us to each other.”
That helped keep this Luzerne County couple going strong 72 years later. Or, if you do the math, that’s more than 26,297 days together.
Twenty-six thousand days – that’s what the cool kids on social media would call “hashtag relationship goals.”
Speaking of Harold and Betty Yaple, their grandkids say Betty is quite famous in the Shickshinny are for her chocolate chip cookies and apple pie.
Check out what some viewers said their Valentine’s Day plans are in this online poll.