Fred Stallcop carries a copy of the old black-and-white photo with him in his wallet, so he can show people evidence of the first time he met his wife.
In the photo, they're bundled up and chubby-cheeked, two 6-month-olds whose families had gone out on a picnic together.
"I've known him forever," said Cecelia Stallcop, nee Whittaker. "I can't remember not knowing him."
For some long-married couples, the love of their lives has been the love of almost their entire lives: They've always had Valentine's Day plans. They met young, and they bonded for life.
Now 78 and residents of the Carmichael Oaks Senior Living community, the Stallcops have been married for 56 years. During the Depression, their grandparents back in the tiny wheat-farming town of Pomeroy, Wash., were friends. And besides, Cecelia's dad, the town butcher, had a shop right across the street from Fred's grandfather, the town barber.
"They knew one another," said Fred Stallcop.
"Everybody in town knew everybody else when we were kids," his wife replied.
Barb and Norm Cady, married 70 years, have known each other almost as long as the Stallcops have been alive. They met in junior high in Bakersfield when they both took part in a school operetta.
"He was one of the lead fellows, and I was standing in the back with a group of girls, playing the ukulele," said Barb Cady, now 92.
"You liked my voice, didn't you?" said her husband, 93.
"No, I was just aware of you," she said. "But I always liked him. He was the favorite of several girls."
The daughter of an oil field worker, Barb Permenter started dating Norm Cady in high school, and both graduated from UC Berkeley before they married. Then came the war, followed by three children and Norm's long career as a manager with Pacific Bell.
For Valentine's Day, Barb Cady has set up a little display of red hearts in a niche outside the couple's door at Eskaton Village Carmichael.
"I saved our Valentine's cards from 20 years ago, too, and I put them out on the table," she said. "We used to go out to lunch or dinner, but now we don't get out as much."
These days, the Stallcops don't go out for Valentine's, either. For one thing, Cecelia has been undergoing medical tests. For another, their seniors community provides three meals a day.
"In the past, we went to dinner, and I'd get her an outfit at her favorite clothing shop," said Fred, a retired insurance salesman.
"But I don't need any more clothes," said his wife.
By the time they were in junior high, they were sweet on each other, as the Stallcops like to put it.
They started dating in high school and by their sophomore year at Washington State University, they were planning a future together. They married six days after they graduated and raised three children.
And they're clear about what keeps them together.
"It's because we love each other," said Cecelia Stallcop.
"And I always get the last two words in," her husband said. "I say, 'Yes, dear' and 'What else?' "
"That's a bunch of baloney," his wife replied.