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Love Stories: 'Newlywed Game' pair to play again, this time as the not-so newlyweds

Cathy McCabe laughs while sitting next to her much-taller husband, John, on Feb. 10 inside their Sun City Hilton Head home. "Wearing heels never made much of a difference," she said.
Cathy McCabe laughs while sitting next to her much-taller husband, John, on Feb. 10 inside their Sun City Hilton Head home. "Wearing heels never made much of a difference," she said. Sarah Welliver/The Island Packet

This month: John and Cathy McCabe

Residence: Sun City Hilton Head

Married: Dec. 10, 1967, in Hawthorne, N.J.

HOW THEY MET

John: It was a retail store, one of those discount stores along the highway. It was in West Paterson, N.J., not too far from where we both lived. I was working part time in the shoe department.

Cathy: I needed to pay a car off, so I got a second job there.

John: We both ended up in the shoe department.

A NEW ROMANCE

John: She resisted me for a while because she heard that I had just broken up with another girl. Finally, I convinced her that I was done with this other girl and we went out. That was 1964. I was 20; she was 18. Things progressed quickly. We were together for a good couple years. I graduated from college in '66, and I went into the service.

THE PROPOSAL

John: I think we kind of always knew. It was a matter of when. I wanted to wait until I was out of college and in the military.

Cathy: I remembered you gave me a little book, and you wrote me a lovely poem. I still have that today.

John: It was like we just kind of knew. I loved her from the beginning.

THE WEDDING

John: We were married in 1967 in St. Anthony's church in Hawthorne, N.J. That was her parish. I had training in Virginia, so I drove up and two days later we were married. Then we went out to California for my assignment. That was our honeymoon -- a road trip to California.

'THE NEWLYWEDS'

John: After I was an officer, my first assignment was at an Air Force base in Southern California. Cathy told me, "Write a letter to 'The Newlywed Game.'<2009>" We thought it could be fun. I was skeptical at first. But at that time they liked to have a service member on each of the shows. She gets a call saying they wanted us to come in for an interview. I guess they didn't think we were crazy or anything because they asked us back for a taping. We were scheduled to tape in March.

Around that time, we kept asking each other questions. Driving down the freeway, we'd quiz each other. Eversible question. None of those were asked.

Cathy: The way it works is they ask one person a question then bring in the other person and ask them the same thing. If you have the same answer you get points. We didn't have much luck.

One question was, "Name one thing your husband hides from you?" I think he said checkbook. I said cookies.

John: We taped with three other couples. By the end of the show, we were the only couple without any points. We didn't get any questions right.

There was always that last question. If you got that last question right, there was a chance you could win. The question was, "How old were you when you met." I said 20 and so did she. Everybody else missed it by a year. We went from losers to winners just like that.

THE WINNING COUPLE

Cathy: Lots of funny things happened with that show. We won the living room furniture. The thing was, we were living in a furnished apartment.

John: We wanted a stereo set. They asked us beforehand what we'd want if we won, so we asked for that. When we won, they swung us around and we saw the living room set. I said to her, "That's not what we wanted." Talk about ungrateful. Thankfully, the mic didn't pick that up.

We were planning on moving to Massachusetts, so we kept it. Turns out we still have a few of those pieces we won.

'THE NOT-SO NEWLYWEDS'

Cathy: They're doing "The Not-So Newlywed Show" at Sun City. (Original host) Bob Eubanks will be there. We're going to be on.

The first time around we didn't do so well. Now that we've been married for 40 years I can complete his sentences for him, which annoys him. But it's only because we've known each other for so long. We're so comfortable, I know what he's thinking.

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