GOLDSBORO, WAYNE COUNTY - A Wayne County couple celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on Friday, making them the longest married couple in North Carolina.
Family members of Robert Lee and Virginia Gerald gathered at their small home in Goldsboro for the celebration. Robert Lee said when he met Virginia for the first time, he inquired about her through a friend.
"I saw this little girl with all the long pretty hair. I asked my friend what her name was. He said, 'that's Virginia Robinson,'" Robert Lee told NewsChannel 12.
He was 17 and Virginia was 15 when the couple decided they were going to get married on April 12, 1933.
"He is a nice person. I had to be a nice person to marry him," joked Virginia.
The Geralds have 11 children, 40 grandchildren, 74 great-grandchildren, and 47 great-great-grandchildren. Their photos line the walls of the couple's home.
When NewsChannel 12 asked the couple what's the secret to a long marriage, they said true love is the key.
"I mean hard love, because there's going to be ups and downs, trials and tribulations. There are going to be differences," said Robert Lee.