It’s true, I am a hopeless romantic. I live for flowers just because and adore romantic comedies. Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I set out to find a good feature story about area residents that I think our readers might find interesting. 

Last year, I heard about two Hugo residents, John and Robin Udstuen, who had been married for 35 years. I knew it was a story I had to cover when I heard John mention that Robin was his first and only girlfriend. You just don’t hear stories like that anymore. 

This year, I was able to track down two very different stories for the holiday. The first story, which starts on the front page, is about three couples who have been married for well over five decades. I had so much fun spending time with each of them and learning about how they met, what their lives have been like and why their marriages have worked for so long. 

As a person who has only been married for almost five years, I was eager to ask them about advice they would give to young couples. One common theme I heard I was to make sure you spend time together. In today’s society, we often get so consumed in our own busy worlds that we forget to pause and make time for one another. 

The other story I wrote is about a Centerville couple who has been married for almost a year and a half. I found out about them at a Lino City Council meeting back in October, when they were officially hired as paid-on-call firefighters. The fact that they had the same last name caught my attention. I thought it was interesting that they both joined the same fire department and wanted to know more about that. 

The other day when I sat down with them, I quickly found out that this isn’t the only endeavor they have done together. They are also both nursing students at Century College and work as EMTs at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. I would imagine that studying together and working together at multiple jobs would be more than enough to drive any couple crazy, but they love it and continue to make a great team. 

I’m sure there are many more couples out there in our communities who have stories worth telling in honor of Valentine’s Day. If you know of one, feel free to let us know about it and perhaps we can pursue it next year. 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 


Shannon Granholm is the lead editor at Press Publications. 

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