When Mota and Avanelle Young kiss, it’s almost like they’re teenagers again.
“Now, don’t you bite me,” Mota Young joked as he leaned forward for a smooch.
Avanelle Young laughed.
“Keep your nose out of the way,” she quipped.
The Bowling Green couple aren’t teenagers, though. Avanelle Young, 96, and Mota Young, 97, have been married for 78 years.
Their anniversary was Monday.
“He still kisses me and tells me he loves me,” Avanelle Young said.
It’s a routine the Youngs go through each night.
“I loved her from about the first time I saw her,” Mota Young said.
It was at a party that her cousin had where the group played kissing games such as drop the handkerchief and spin the bottle.
“If (the bottle) stopped in front of you, you had to kiss. Of course I didn’t get a kiss that night,” Mota Young said, laughing. “We didn’t know each other until that night.”
Not much later, the couple’s paths crossed again. They were soon dating, and within three months of the romance, they were married.
“I was in high school. I was going to graduate in about a month from Richardsville High School,” Avanelle Young said. “For some reason, we couldn’t wait.”
Avanelle Young still graduated after they married, and her classmates gave her a gag gift at the senior party.
“They got me a rolling pin,” she said. “I still have it. I remember it well.”
Mota Young remembers it,too.
“She still hasn’t made me any biscuits yet,” he joked.
A magistrate married the couple April 14, 1936, at Mota Young’s sister’s home.
“We ran all the way to Bowling Green to get married. I didn’t have a car. I borrowed a friend’s car. I had $7. I bought the license for $5 and paid the magistrate $2 for marrying us,” Mota Young said as he lovingly touched his wife’s leg. “I was broke, but I was happy.”
After two years of marriage, their oldest son, Royce, was born. Mota Young joined the Army in 1944 and became an assistant gunner. The couple kept in touch through letters.
“I still have those letters,” Avanelle Young said.
After seven years and six months, including his time in the U.S. Army National Guard, he returned to his family.
“There were too many bosses in the Army ...,” Mota Young said.
“... So he came back to his first boss,” Avanelle Young said, finishing her husband’s sentence with a smile.
Coming home after all that time wasn’t easy.
“It was kind of like getting married again,” Mota Young said. “You’ve got to get acquainted.”
Avanelle Young worked retail while her husband worked various jobs. They had two more children, Robert and Linda. They have six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
“We believe in together as long as you live, till death do us part,” Avanelle Young said.
Mota Young agreed.
“I’m going to live with her till death do I part,” he said.