Close couple celebrate silver anniversary

On Feb. 23, Mike and Paula Tolbert celebrated their 25th silver wedding anniversary.

One can easily see the “spark” is still there.

These two definitely have good role models that are the depiction of commitment.

Paula’s parents, Virgle and Annette Ainsworth, celebrated 50 years together this past December.

“She’s my sweetie,” Virgle gently said to Annette as they held hands and remembered the days when he first courted her.

Paula’s aunt and uncle, Lavon and Lavern Ainsworth, also celebrate their 50th anniversary as well this month.

Mike and Paula remember the look on Virgle’s face the first time he saw Mike.

“He looked like a bad boy in his boots and leather,” Paula said laughing.

The two met at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Paula still recalls his good looks and charm from when they first met.

“He sat in the front between two girls, and finally asked me out the last day of class,” she said.

They later enjoyed movie dates, social events and many afternoons and evenings together as they got to know each other.

The couple admitted it could have been love at first sight because they were each attracted by merely looks before finding a deeper bond through understanding, growth and most of all commitment.

Mike also courted her through poems and love letters before finally asking her hand in marriage.

Paula saved each and every poem and love letter in a special binder she still has and adds to occasionally.

This happy couple has three children together and one grandchild.

Mike is a computer scientist who works for AT&T trouble shooting and analyzing computer outages.

Paula taught the gifted students at Wilsonville Elementary School for three years before going back to regular education with the fourth grade currently.

Before going back to work, Paula was a stay at home mom, where she got to spend the earliest years of her children’s lives by their side.

“We are all very close,” Paula said.

These two Shelby County residents enjoy celebrating happy years of marriage together, and believe that family time is important.