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PARIS, Texas - The sound of Amazing Grace fills the home of Eunice and Lloyd Ford near Paris, as Eunice plays.

What's amazing is the 100-year-old wife and her 102-year-old husband's longevity. The couple recently celebrated their 83rd wedding anniversary.

One thing, I liked his looks, Eunice said. I liked the way he acted.

I guess she likes me pretty good, Lloyd said, sitting next to her.

Time has flown by for the Fords, who wed April 9, 1929.

Lloyd was 19, Eunice 17. Smitten, they eloped, leaving only a note to her dad.

I wrote a note and [said] when you read this, I'll be Mrs. Lloyd Ford, and I want you to know it wasn't a 'have to,' Eunice remembered, laughing.

The Fords have changed and have seen lots of changes in world, since saying I do.

TV's, computers and cellphones arrived. Fast food, too.

You didn't have much to carry for lunch then, some boiled eggs and a biscuit, Lloyd said.

They farmed, owned a grocery and a lawnmower repair business.

Eunice took up painting. Lloyd, a long-time mason, made clocks and custom woodwork.

They've weathered many storms in 83 years; losing a home to fire and surviving the depression.

We was so poor that the depression didn't make much difference to us, Eunice said.

Those tough times only strengthened their love.

The key, they said, to keeping a marriage from unraveling was avoiding fights.

We never did quarrel or anything, Eunice said. If I got mad, I walked off and left him to cool off.

And keep a sense of humor.

I been thinking she'd throw me out a long time ago, but she didn't, Lloyd said.

After 83 years, it's safe to say they're both keepers.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com

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