Herb Goodman knew his wife was the one the first moment he saw her.

"I was a sophomore in 1942 and she was a junior at Chrisney High," the 91-year old Tennyson man said. "I played basketball and she'd come to the games and I saw her one time and I said, 'I want that girl.'"

"He just asked me out and I went," his 92-year-old wife Jo Nell Goodman said. "We probably went to a movie in Rockport."

"She's a cougar," Goodman said jokingly about the one-year age difference between him and his wife, who will have been married for 73 years this April.

The Goodmans celebrated Valentine's Day the same way they have for years: attending their churches Valentine's Day dinner on Sunday.

Jo Nell said although Valentine's Day is a good day to recognize and cherish your significant other, it is something you should do always.

"I think you should have dates any time," she said. "It's important for couples to get together."

Jo Nell Goodman said she knew her husband was the one because of how similar their values are.

"We just liked the same things," she said. "And we did the same things. I didn't want anyone who drank and he didn't drink and I went to church and

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he went to church. So we were pretty well compatible."

Herb Goodman said he knew his wife was the one because of how she stepped up to take care of her own siblings after her mother died.

"She quit her job in Evansville at Sun Beam and Republic, where they made airplanes, to take care of the boys," he said. "She had two brothers and I had a younger brother and we took them on dates. We'd all five together go to a show."

After high school, Herb Goodman was drafted to the army and he and Jo Nell were married while he was still in the service in Tyler, Texas on April 14, 1945.

It wasn't a traditional proposal or wedding.

Herb Goodman said it all started when Jo Nell and some of her friends came to visit him and some of his Army buddies.

"And they went home and I stayed and got married," Jo Nell Goodman said. "I threatened him."

"She told me that, 'if we don't get married I'm going to have to go home,'" Herb Goodman said. "I said, 'well we're getting married then.' "

After they left Texas, they moved back to Spencer County, but still weren't settled.

Herb Goodman said it was his dad who purchased the newlyweds their Tennyson home -- the one the Goodmans have lived in for 71 years.

"He bought this without even asking my mother," Herb Goodman said. "And she said, 'I'm not moving over there, there's no electricity, there's no water, I'm here in Chrisney where I can walk to church.' and she refused to move over."

So Herb Goodman's father offered the property to his son and his daughter-in-law instead.

"It was a good shell but-," Jo Nell Goodman said, but before she could finish her sentence, her husband said, "it was an empty house."

"We had a stove and a table and a bed and that was it," Jo Nell Goodman said. "We didn't have water in the house, didn't have electricity, no bathroom."

Jo Nell Goodman said their empty house was nothing she wasn't used to, as she was raised during the Depression.

"I lived on a farm and I was probably about 12 before REA came through and we got electricity," she said. "But, Dad never put a bathroom in. So I was used to a more life primitive life."

Although Herb Goodman was no longer in service and he and his wife finally had their first home of their own, they still had some hurdles to face.

For almost a year, Herb Goodman spent five days a week in Evansville attending Lockyear Business College and working second shift at Sunbeam Electric at night, while Jo Nell stayed home in Tennyson, taking care of their 3-month old child.

"When we moved here, and this was right after the War, they weren't making cars. Everything was geared for the Army, and used cars was about all you could get and they were few and far between and besides," Jo Nell Goodman said. "We didn't have the money to buy a car so he stayed down in Evansville to work and he hitchhiked home on the weekends."

The time apart didn't last too long, as Herb Goodman ended up quitting business school.

"One night I said, 'I don't want to wear a tie the rest of my life,'" he said, "and I quit Lockyear and went to work in the factory at Whirlpool and I worked there for 42 years."

Jo Nell Goodman said they decided to stay in Tennyson for the rest of their lives because it was the right fit for them.

"Well, we liked it and it was home," she said. "And there's nice people in Tennyson and we go to church here at Tennyson General Baptist and that is an important part of our lives."

The Goodmans lived a good life and full life, with Jo Nell working as a cook at Tennyson Elementary and Herb working at the factory, all while raising their four children, Robert Earl, Jo Ann, Barbara and Paula Kay together.

Herb Goodman said that all of his children lived with them while they were building homes of their own.

"And I helped to build them," Herb Goodman said. "My dad helped me and I figured I need to help them."

"We're proud of all of our kids," Jo Nell said. "We've got good kids."

Now, they have 13 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Herb and Jo Nell's granddaughter, Lindsay VanFleet, said she loves her grandparents so much that she attended their 70th wedding anniversary nearly three years ago, just two days after giving birth to her daughter.

"I got released from the hospital and went directly to the party," she said. "It was that important."

VanFleet said she wanted to be there to celebrate her grandparents love because they are epitome of what she wants.

"They are strongly rooted in God, love each other and their family," she said. "They'd been together 70 years. It was reason to celebrate."

Jo Nell Goodman said what she loves most about her husband is that he is dependable.

"He goes to church with me and he's a good father," she said. "I knew when he got off work that he'd come home. He wouldn't stop at the tavern or any place like that. I could depend on him."

Herb Goodman said he loves everything about his wife.

"She didn't drink or smoke and she was a mother to her two brothers," he said. "She's a good mother."

Although she and her husband have been together for seven decades, Jo Nell Goodman admitted they don't always get along.

"Everyone has discussions," she said. "Because a man sees things one way and a woman sees thing another. You don't always see the same thing but we stuck together."

Jo Nell Goodman said for couples with kids, don't let them divide you as a team.

"If you've got kids, you'll soon find out they'll pit mother against dad and dad against mother to get what they want," she said. "And you just have to stand together and be a unit because they are going to be long gone one of these days, and you still got to have a relationship with your partner."

Herb Goodman said for any young couples out there wanting to obtain everlasting love, know that it is OK to make mistakes.

"None of us is perfect," he said. "And you got to give and take and don't expect anybody to be perfect."

Jo Nell Goodman said even when things get rough, stick it out with your partner rather than searching for someone else to replace them.

"And you think well, 'I'm gonna get rid of him and get someone else,' " she said. "Well they're not going to be perfect either. I know we had our ups and downs and you sit down and make a list of all the good things and all the bad things and there's some things you cannot live with. But he had all the good things."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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