EAGAN---It's one thing to make the promises in the joy and celebration of a wedding day.
It's another to keep them.
"(It's been) sixty years!" said 83 year old Ed Martin of Eagan, who was married at age 23. "I didn't think I'd live that long, and not be married that long."
Ed andhis wife Jeanmet at the Spotlight dance club in Nisswa, and first said their vows at a little church in Brainerd in January 1953.
"It was 30 below zero," Ed remembered."We were cute young kids."
Now the cute young kids are their great grandchildren, after six decades of love--and of lessons.
"If you have a bad day, live with it, tolerate it," said Ed of theguidance he gives to young couples. "Nobody's perfect. I'm close! But nobody's perfect."
It's advice Ed and Jean's five kids still follow. Their three daughters have each been married more than30 years themselves, watchingFriday as their parents and four other couples at an Eagan senior living home renewed their vows. Together, they've been married a combined 290 years.
"To see my mom get teary made me get teary," said Gwen Schwartz, Ed and Jean's daughter.
"I kind of liked the part where my dad completely forgot he was supposed to be looking at his wife!" added their daughter Patti Affeldt.
Friday's ceremonywasn't that different than when the couplesdid itfirst time: the cake, the guests, even the kiss.
"The only thing is you don't take a honeymoon!" said Jean with a laugh.
And those words? Even better repeated.
"(These five couples have) over 200 years together," said Ed and Jean's daughter Debra Esse."That's amazing. It just doesn't happen."