PLATTSBURGH — If you see Alyce and Lyle (Waldon) DeLong bantering back and forth, don’t mistake their dialogue for a dispute.
It’s simply how they managed to make it through 71 years of marriage.
Friends and family gathered in the recreation room at the Clinton County Nursing Home Aug. 30 to help the cute couple celebrate their longstanding love for one another over cake and conversation.
Alyce, 88, of Peru, said she first set her sights on Lyle, 87, of Schuyler Falls, when they were just young children while their parents practiced together for a play.
She remembers wanting to take Lyle’s tricycle for a spin around his parent’s kitchen, but he was not quite ready to share.
“I really wanted a ride, but he didn’t want me to get on it,” she recalled, glancing over at her husband.
But it was the tricycle tiff that supposedly sparked Lyle’s enduring love for her, as he proudly proclaimed to his mother later that evening, “I’m gonna marry her.”
The couple remained close growing up, seeing each other regularly on the school bus.
As they got older, Alyce started seeing less of Lyle, not because they weren’t attracted to each other, but because he was skipping class.
Instead of asking him where he had been, Alyce, 17, asked Lyle, 16, if he wanted to get married.
On Aug. 30, 1941, the lovebirds wed at St. Augustine’s in Peru with only the pastor and Lyle’s brother as witnesses.
“It was nothing to get excited over,” Alyce said of the special day.
She also claimed that there aren’t too many things that Lyle does get excited about, except for dill pickles.
Lyle could not argue with that.
“Oh yeah, that is true,” he agreed.
After they were married, the happy couple moved into a home on Champlain Street in Plattsburgh before settling in Schuyler Falls.