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Tucson husband surprises wife with sentimental 50th anniversary gift

Posted at 7:35 PM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 13:10:22-04

For a couple's 50th wedding anniversary, a Tucson husband pulled off the ultimate gift. 

Jim Nierenberg surprised his wife Ann with the bench he proposed to her on for their anniversary Saturday. 

"I was there with some of my air force buddies and there was a truck trying to park next to us in the drive-in area and it was a big old panel truck and the girl driving it was having a lot of trouble so being a shy kid from the Bronxs I said something, 'Hey, want me to park that before you kill us?' and she said, 'Sure,'" he said. 

Since then they started dating and soon after, Jim proposed to her on that bench located on the University of Arizona's campus. 

Flash forward to five years ago, Jim said he spoke with a number of U of A staff to track down the bench. 

After years of tracking, the school sold it to him for $5.31.

"Something that was so unexpected and when I finally figured out the whole thing I was just speechless... It was amazing," she said. 

Jim says the secret to a healthy long-lasting relationship is approach everything as a team and as friends. 

"You have to take the good with the bad," she said. "We have had far more good than we have bad, but you have to be rolling with the punches and not bail out because it gets a little rough."

Now when Jim and Ann look at the bench outside their home, they say memories flashback of the last 50 years together. 

"It is a good reminder of times when we didn't have very much, the times when we would go out and collect pop bottles so we could go to the dollar drive in... we just never forgot where we started from," he said. 

At the end of the wedding anniversary surprise, Jim got down on one knee and asked Ann to stay with him for another 50 years... and her response?

"I'll think about it," she said.