DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- In the fall of 1948, for Dodie McClary, it was love at first sight. For his now wife, Annie, it was not.
"When he came to see me that Sunday, he said 'You're going to be my wife. I'm going to marry you,'" Annie recalled. "And I'm saying to myself, 'I don't love you yet!'"
It wasn't long though until Dodie's charm set in. In December of the same year, the two would say "I do."
In the early 1950's, the couple would leave South Carolina for a new home in Durham.
Dodie worked as a mechanic, Annie in domestics and eventually at Duke. The two had 11 children, 9 of which are still living.
The two tied the knot at the courthouse, so Annie didn't have a white dress.
"Back in those days, people didn't have any money," she said. She'd always dreamed of one though. That dream finally came true, 50 years after the couple first tied the knot.
During a vow renewal, Annie wore a long white dress with lace sleeves and a long veil.
The secret to nearly 71 years, according to Annie, is a simple one: Forgiveness.
"The secret is we have our ups and downs, but we've got to forgive each other."
Durham couple married for 70 years shares secret to long, happy marriage