Couple reunites through Facebook after 53 years

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Scientists may be pointing to research that suggests technology is creating a digital divide between people, but sometimes it bridges that gap -- even a 50-year gap.

That's what happened for Melody Longino. It was just a regular Tuesday on Facebook for the 70-year-old Baton Rouge woman when a friend request on the popular social media site popped up.

"My friend was sitting here [at the computer] and I said 'Move! Move! Move now.' And she looked at me like 'are you crazy,'" Longino said.

It was a friend request from William McCrary, a name Longino had not heard in more than 50 years.

"I said, 'Are you William E. McCrary from Marrero like in the 50's?' He said, 'Yes, can I have your email address and phone number?' And I was like, 'Okie dokie,'" Longino said.

It was the same giddy feeling Longino felt back in 1957. She was on a Greyhound bus to Texas when a handsome 17-year-old Marine boarded.

"It took me one stop to get the courage to sit with her, but I did," McCrary recalled.

Longino was more than happy to have the Marine recruit sit down beside her.

"At Shreveport I got my first sugar, and by Dallas I had a bunch of sugar," she said.

But that sweet taste of sugar was gone before it could even set in.

"He left to go on to California and I went up home. We kept in touch for a couple years by mail and we went our separate ways. We were young," Longino said.

McCrary eventually ended up in North Carolina; Longino stayed in Baton Rouge. Each moved on with their lives without any contact -- until a little red Facebook icon changed everything.

"I seen this little search bar up top and I said, 'Let me try it.' And bloop there she was," McCrary said.

Longino said the pair talked for hours that night and have not stopped talking since.

It did not take McCrary long to head South for what would be only the second time the two have been face-to-face. Their first official date was at a special tree.

"I used to drive by this tree a couple times a day and my heart would just go, 'Ahhh,' so I just wanted to share my romantic place with him," Longino said.

A lot has changed in the time that's passed, but the most important thing is still there.

"We look different and time has changed things, but I still have that special feeling in my heart every time I look at him," Longino said.

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