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Sparks fly decades after 'I do'

Star quarterback makes play, wins heart

Created date

January 29th, 2009

Charles and Hazel Selby recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary, but the years have done little to dim the memories of their first meeting. "He was the star quarterback for Central High School in Knoxville, Tenn.," recalls Hazel. "I went to a different high school, but I was at one of his games with a friend. It was October 2, 1935. One of the cheerleaders told me that Charlie wanted to meet me, so I went down to the field with my friend. He asked if I was doing anything on Saturday night. When I said no, he asked me to go out with him."

The right moves

Their first outing was a double date with mutual friends. "We went to dinner and a movie," says Hazel. "Charlie s a very funny, direct guy. When he took me home and leaned in to kiss me, I told him I didn t kiss boys on a first date. He replied that he didn t want to anyway. He just thought he was supposed to." The couple was married two years later on October 4, 1937. Still a football hero in his hometown, Charles was courted by several schools, including the University of Georgia, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Alabama. He chose Georgia, and a year later the couple s first son, David, was born.

Changing the scenery

After college, the family moved back to Knoxville, where Charles worked for the utilities board and Hazel was an administrative hostess at a local hospital. They had two more children: a daughter, Gail, and another son, Tom. Today, their family has grown to include seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In 2006, the couple moved to Highland Springs to be close to their daughter, who lives minutes from the community. Last year, the Selbys traveled back to Tennessee to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with more than 60 guests from ten states. "We have a large and loving family," says Hazel. "It s been a blessed life."