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Sweethearts found each other in first grade

John Montgomery said he dated one other girl before he married Sandra, and it was a miserable date.
BY STEVE GUST, For The Oklahoman Published: July 15, 2012

If you're lucky, you find your soul mate.

If you're really blessed like John and Sandra Montgomery, of Edmond, you discover each other early in life and nurture a love affair that blossoms for decades.

First-grade crushes are not unheard of. That's what happened to John Montgomery, in Vinita.

It was the late 1940s, and there was one dark-haired girl who was too pretty for him to ignore. She remembers it well.

“I remember telling my mother about this boy who was always looking at me,” Sandra Montgomery said. “I think we noticed each other about the same time.”

He even figured out where she lived.

“I'd ride my bicycle by her place just to get a look at her,” he said.

By the time they reached third grade, even some adults suspected the children were fond of each other. As a class project, a teacher sent John over to Sandra's house to help her cut out valentines for Valentine's Day 1951.

Respect then love

The two close friends spent the next years liking each other intensely, but also keeping their distance and respecting each other. In high school, they even made the decision to try dating others — just to be sure. John has dated one other girl in his lifetime.

He can't forget the experience.

“I actually was on a double date with her (Sandra),” he said. “I was miserable with the girl I was with. I wanted to be with Sandra.”

John, who Sandra remembers as being shy, mustered up a mountain of courage during a movie night in Vinita. He spotted the girl he had loved since he was 7. Sandra remembers this part of the story as clearly as the day it happened in the 1950s.

“He sat down for a second, he leaned over and kissed my cheek and then got up and left,” she said. “It was the first time he kissed me. I was shocked.”

The kiss must have been nothing short of electric. By the time John was a junior in high school, he had made a decision. He wanted to marry Sandra. Sandra wanted to marry him.

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Together since birth, practically

It could be said that Johnnie and Cheryl Overbay have been together since birth.

Johnnie was born the night of Feb. 1, 1945, at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City. Six hours later on Feb. 2, Cheryl was born at St. Anthony. The same Catholic nun signed both their birth certificates.

They never lived more than 15 miles apart, but their second meeting was delayed until Cheryl's family moved to the south side of Oklahoma City. They officially met at U.S. Grant High School.

With parental blessing, they married July 3, 1962, with the understanding they had to finish high school.

The couple “really raised one another,” Johnnie said, “becoming best friends in the process.”

Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman

I remember telling my mother about this boy who was always looking at me.”

Sandra Montgomery


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