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Thursday, March 30, 2017, 5:42 p.m.

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RIGHT TIME RIGHT PLACE: Arkansas pair married 51 years acting out 'Love Letters' that could be theirs

By Kimberly Dishongh

This article was published February 12, 2017 at 5:31 a.m.

Marie and David Welch exchanged their vows on Aug. 21, 1965. They met through a theater group at Colorado State College in Greeley, Colo., and will co-star in A.R. Gurney’s play, Love Letters, a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Hot Springs Village, on Valentine’s Day.

The first time I saw my future spouse:

He says: “She was in rehearsal for a play.”

She says: “It wasn’t the first time, but it was one of the first. I was with friends in a second-floor apartment. We hear this knock on the window and I turn around and it’s Dave, and he had shimmied up the outside of this brick wall, and as a joke was knocking on the window to get in that way, to get our attention.”

On our wedding day:

He says: “I popped the cork from the champagne bottle, and it hit the ceiling and then it hit my best man’s father in the groin. It was a memorable day.”

She says: “I’ve always been late or in a hurry to get somewhere. We lived diagonally across the street and two houses down from the church. We told my father what time the ceremony was going to be in the church and my father got me there a half an hour before. My parents both thought Dave was wonderful, and they wanted nothing to go wrong from the ceremony.”

My advice for a lasting marriage is:

He says: “If you’re going to have a very long marriage you need to be prepared to be married several times — by which I mean, you need to be ready to recommit yourself to one another through the years. And also, man oh man, it’s give and take.”

She says: “Sometimes you have to sit down and talk, and sometimes you have to just back off. It is totally a give and take over your whole lives.”

Marie Ryan had an established stage presence when David Welch arrived on the scene in Greeley, Colo., in the early '60s. He jumped right into a backstage support position.

The first time I saw my future spouse:

He says: “She was in rehearsal for a play.”

She says: “It wasn’t the first time, but it was one of the first. I was with friends in a second-floor apartment. We hear this knock on the window and I turn around and it’s Dave, and he had shimmied up the outside of this brick wall, and as a joke was knocking on the window to get in that way, to get our attention.”

On our wedding day:

He says: “I popped the cork from the champagne bottle, and it hit the ceiling and then it hit my best man’s father in the groin. It was a memorable day.”

She says: “I’ve always been late or in a hurry to get somewhere. We lived diagonally across the street and two houses down from the church. We told my father what time the ceremony was going to be in the church and my father got me there a half an hour before. My parents both thought Dave was wonderful, and they wanted nothing to go wrong from the ceremony.”

My advice for a lasting marriage is:

He says: “If you’re going to have a very long marriage you need to be prepared to be married several times — by which I mean, you need to be ready to recommit yourself to one another through the years. And also, man oh man, it’s give and take.”

She says: “Sometimes you have to sit down and talk, and sometimes you have to just back off. It is totally a give and take over your whole lives.”

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Print Headline: Pair acting out Love Letters that could be theirs

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