Couple Returns to Where They Had First Date in 1962 To Celebrate 55 Years of Marriage


First dates are full of excitement. An opportunity to begin quite possibly your own personal love story that could end in the happily ever after you’ve always dreamed of.

Dating in the digital age has lost a lot of the splendor that use to surround first dates. Usually, people meet on dating apps and talk for a while before getting together in person.

Long gone are the days where people randomly bump into their soul mates at the movies or at a restaurant.

So when Courtney Stepp grew up listening to her grandparents’ story of their “meet-cute,” she knew exactly how she wanted to help celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary: by recreating their first date.

Biden Would Be Blocked from Giving State of the Union Address Under New Proposal

Elmer and Fran Armstrong met at a Missouri Steak ‘n Shake in March 1962. They both pulled up to the local eatery in separate cars with their friends.

It was raining pretty hard, so Fran had her windshield wipers on at high speed. Elmer approached her in the car and said, “Excuse me, miss. Your windshield wipers are squeaking.”

Fran replied, jokingly, “Yea, no kidding.” Their friend groups met inside the store and had hamburgers and milkshakes.

Elmer had apparently tried to first date Fran’s best friend, who then told him to leave her alone and call Fran.

“So I did and it’s been downhill now for 56 years,” he told ABC News.

Their granddaughter, Courtney, held a photo shoot with the lovebirds to celebrate their anniversary.

“I just wanted to do something different from everything,” she told ABC News. “I just really wanted to show the world that true love can really last.”

They had to stage the pictures at a local Steak ‘n Shake that was not where they originally met.

“The one where I met her is closed now,” Elmer explained. “It closed down years ago so we had to pick another one.”

Air Force Officer Makes History at 2024 Miss America Pageant: 'The Sky Is Not the Limit'

“It was really cool to just watch them relive their first date. They have such strong love for each other and that true love can truly last,” Courtney told People magazine. “They were giggling and laughing the entire time. They were literally cracking up.”

Elmer hopes their pictures — that have since gone viral — will inspire others through love and marriage.

“The wife and I … we have our arguments, but we try not to go bed mad at one another,” Elmer said. “The biggest thing that both of us have learned is to forget about it. If something goes wrong, and you get it straightened out, don’t hold a grudge. Get over it and move on.”

Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best uplifting stories here.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith