Couple celebrates 75 years together with a lifetime of memories

MADISON, Ala. -- One couple in Madison is celebrating their diamond anniversary. That's 75 years! Madison Village retirement center threw a big party for the special couple, Frances and EJ Sims.

The Sims eloped when they were just 16 and 19 years old. It all started with a bag of popcorn.

"He got a penny a bag for all the popcorn he sold, and I bought a lot of popcorn from him," said Frances.

Many people, including their family, told the couple it wouldn't last. 75 years later and they're still going strong.

"There's less than one percent make it to seventy years, so I don't know what'll happen in another seventy-five. So much has happened during our lifetime," she said.

The Sims are children of the depression, growing up in the hardest of times. John Sims said his parents are the epitome of perseverance. Even his father's dementia can't keep them apart.

"Because of security reasons he can't stay here but he comes and  spends the day with her everyday. He eats his meals with them and I come and pick him up in the evening," he explained.

When asked for the secret to success, France's answer for couples was simple.

"The main thing I would tell them is live within your means, and don't go to bed mad," she laughed.

The Sims drove all the way from Tennessee to Missouri in order to find a judge who would marry them. They ended up waking a judge up at four in the morning on a Saturday.  Frances Sims said she was worried because she had to be back in time to get to school on Monday.