First and foremost, it’s a love story.
And at the heart of the love story are two Harts, Marge and the late Don Hart.
"We always knew each other," Marge says. The former Marjorie Wearsch was in the fifth grade and Donald Hart was in the seventh at the former Science Hill School in Guernsey County. "Neither one of us ever dated anyone else. We just always knew we were going to be together."
The first date was a typical date for the era. Don had just gotten a car, what Marge remembers as a 1948 Chevy, and he came and picked her up and they "just drove around." Marge remembers the date, June 29, as she and Don always celebrated that day for the rest of their married lives.
"We were married in 1951 at the Methodist Church in Newcomerstown," Marge said. Don was in the Army and was going to be home so they got married on Dec. 8 and had 63 years together before Don passed away.
And for every one of those 63 years, Don got Marge a Valentine’s Day card, usually along with flowers or chocolates.
She still has them.
"I like them all, I don’t have favorites," Marge said. "They’re all just great and all bring back memories."
What she remembers is that Don was a romantic, at heart.
"He wrote journals and I still have them all," she said. "What was remarkable to me was that they were always positive. I’ve been rereading them and he never wrote an unkind word about anyone."
Which is an attribute that people can also say about Marge, although she says she may not be quite as good at that as Don was.
Asked about advice for newlyweds, Marge said, "We always talked over everything. We always discussed big purchases and always backed each other up when it came to discipline issues with our children. I knew he would always be there for me and he knew I would always be there for him."
Marge and Don have two sons, Chris (and Susie) Hart from the Newcomerstown area, and Kevin (and Sally) Hart from Maine. They have three grandchildren, Adam, Brad and Alex.
After they were married in 1951, Don ended up going to Korea for a year and Marge lived with her parents in the Guernsey area. After the service, Don and Marge moved to Cleveland where he worked at a brickyard. When he didn’t like that work, he took a job at a Ford plant in Cleveland and then they moved to Cambridge where he worked at Cambridge Machine & Supply, doing welding that he had learned in the service. Three years later, they moved to Guernsey to her grandparents’ home and then to a house that Don built himself, laying the brick and doing some of the woodwork.
And in that house are more examples of the romance they had. There’s a wall of pictures of them, their family and friends. There’s a wood picture frame with pictures of Don and his seven brothers, all in their military uniforms.
But the most prominent picture on the wall?
The picture showing Don and Marge on their wedding day, showing the love that lasted decades, "until death do us part."