A lifetime of love - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

A lifetime of love

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When Margaret Dawes met 21-year-old James Bates, she was still a student at Escondido high school.

"In those days, I just took anything that came along," James joked.

"He still does," Margaret said.

Soon Uncle Sam sent James a draft notice. So the couple made a run for the border.

"We went to Yuma, Arizona because you could get married. In California, you had to wait five days. Some of the other girls in my class had gone over and got married. Their husbands were going in the service. That was our case, so we went to Yuma and got married," Margaret said.

After the service, the couple settled down in Valley Center, where James worked on the property his dad purchased when he was one year old -- Bates Nut Farm.

"We worked hard and we saved our money and we wanted four children and that's what we got -- two boys and two girls," Margaret said.

And today as they celebrate their 70th anniversary, I asked Margaret what still attracts her to James.

"Well he always has a smart-ass answer… and he always has a good disposition. And if he don't like something, he gives me one of his wisecracks and goes out the door," Margaret said.

"She's a good cook," James said.

Nurtured by a sense of humor and sustained by deep-seeded faith in family, James and Margaret Bates are the poster children for everlasting love.

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