PARKERSBURG - For Paul and Jane Metz, being together is a way of life they have lived for 56 years.
Their first date was 59 years ago to an unlikely location.
"His sister lived next door to my parents and she introduced us," Jane said. "He took me out to a car race at Torch, Ohio, that was our first date."
Jane and Paul Metz spend a lot of time together doing things they love, such as playing pool at the Wood County Senior Citizens Center in Parkersburg. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
They lived most of their married lives in Parkersburg. Jane is a Wood County native and Paul is from Calhoun County
"We went to California and lived there five years when there wasn't much employment here," she said. "When we came back to parkersburg he worked a little bit at the box factory. Later we took our civil service tests and we moved to St. Marys."
After passing the tests they were employed at the same place, the Colin Anderson Center. Paul retired from the center after 27 years as a plumber. Jane worked there off and on for a total of 10 years as a switchboard operator.
After 59 years, their Valentine's Day is a low-key affair.
"Usually is just a box of candy," she said. "We just enjoy the day being together. Our kids have a special anniversary celebration for us every year."
Their 2012 anniversary was one to remember, not because of what happened.
"In December we celebrated our anniversary and it was something because we were married in 1956 and we've been married for 56 years," she said.
Jane said the secret for the longevity of the marriage was they had to work together and it took some trying.
"There was a lot of give and take that first year," she said. "Then the children came along and kind of put us together, kept us close."
Paul said the secret of staying together is that they work out their differences, they don't let them fester.
"We don't hold grudges," he said. "We may argue but we don't let it get out of hand. She's the best friend I've got."
When it came to the children there was never a disagreement over correcting them.
"He did what he thought was necessary and then I'd do what I thought needed to be done," she said. "We always agreed on what was best and how to handle it."
Jane said Paul is a big help to her and they spend a lot of time together. She said while they may have argued about some things, they never had arguments about work around the house.
"He is excellent around the house," she said. "To this day he'll do things I usually do if I have something else to do. He's just wonderful."
When they aren't busy, the couple can be found together four days a week at the Wood County Senior Citizens Center playing pool with some of the other center regulars.
In the summer they said they get outdoors and enjoy the outside world. Jane said after their years of work they find it hard to just sit around the house.
"We were so active and working all those years, we can't make ourselves just sit here," she said. "We have an ATV and we go out to the roads we know in Pleasants County and we take a lunch and enjoy being out."
Jane said her most fond memory of a Valentine's Day with Paul was at a church Valentine's Day dinner.
"We were there and he started to yodel for them," she said. "They loved it."