A Tale of Love Lost and Found

Rodney Day and Dianne Harris, some 50 years ago
It's been 50 years since Rodney Day gave his class ring to Dianne Harris, reports CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman.

"We probably would have gotten married and we would have stayed together," Dianne said.

They attended Napa High School in northern California. Rodney was three years older and after graduating he joined the Navy. Dianne used to wait for his letters and couldn't wait for him to get home on his first leave.

"He was home only one day and we went out and he fell asleep at the wheel and we crashed into a cement abutment," she said.

Rodney didn't die - although, as far as Dianne was concerned, he might as well have -- the rotten bum. Shortly after the accident, Dianne says her mother came into her hospital room and said Rodney wanted to break-up.

"He just left me" without telling her to her face, Dianne said. "I never saw him again, ever."

End of story - or at least it was.

Dianne says she fond out the truth 50 years later.

Rodney was searching the Internet a few months ago -- looking for old high school friends -- when he came across Dianne's contact information. So he reached out to her. And as they talked - they realized - what really happened all those years ago.

Rodney says he never broke up with Diane.

"And I said, that's funny, because she told me you wanted to break up with me," Dianne recalled. Rodney apparently was told that Dianne didn't want to see him.

Apparently, Dianne's mother didn't want her daughter waiting around on some Navy guy.

Rodney and Dianne both married other people. Rodney's wife just died a few years ago and Dianne is divorced. They both had children and grandchildren so, of course, neither would change the past. But neither wants to live in it either.

"It was like a spark was there," Dianne said, "Like no time had passed."

After about a month getting reacquainted, Rodney gave Dianne his high school ring for the second time.

And just a few weeks later, gave her a brand new one to go with it.

They are now Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Day. Like any newlyweds, they still have to meld her stuff with his.

But assuming their marriage can survive the cupboards, they should enjoy many years of wedded bliss.

Nice to see, huh? That young love doesn't have to get old.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.