Widower builds museum to honor 60-year love story

Widower creates museum for late wife 02:29

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Retired mail carrier Charles Evans is known mostly for his questionable taste in lawn furnishings. But CBS News went down to his town for something undeniably beautiful.

Charles met his wife Louise back in 1949. "When you looked at her it was like electrical shock," he said. "I guess it's love."

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Charles Evans CBS News

To Charles, true love is so powerful, nothing can stop it.

"That's a big four-letter word."

Which is why, when Louise died in 2011 after 60 years of marriage, he decided a grave marker wasn't enough. Their love deserved more than a monument -- what their love needed was a museum.

So, in a little outbuilding behind his house, Charles Evans built just that.

He's got the shoeshine stand he was working at when he met her.

He's got all the music they used to dance to, and four walls packed solid with pictures documenting every significant occasion.

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Charles shows Steve Hartman around his museum CBS News

He has most of the insignificant occasions, too -- like a time they went out to lunch.

"This was a different place at lunch," Charles explained. "She didn't like that [photo] because I caught her laughing with food in her mouth."

Needless to say, he doesn't get a whole lot of visitors, but he was recently featured in a video by the band Mutemath.

The lack of visitors is fine by Charles. In fact, you get the sense he almost enjoys his alone time more.

On slow days, he slow dances with Louise.

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Charles and Louise Charles Evans

"I guess I'm trying to relive our life," Charles said. "But it's not a suffering memory, it's a beautiful memory."

Sometimes people try to tell Charles to move on. But in his mind, why would you want to make a bunch of new memories, when the old ones are still so good?

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  • Steve Hartman
    Steve Hartman

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