PELL CITY – Col. Robert L. Howard Veterans Home resident George Cline looked up at his wife, Jane, with a look of love and affection.
“How are you Mamma?” Cline asked his wife, who visits him at the V.A. Home every week. “What have you been doing?”
Cline has Alzheimer’s disease and has lived at the Veterans Home in Pell City for a year. His memory is slowly deteriorating, but he still recognizes his family and, of course, Jane.
“He still makes me laugh,” Jane said. “He still has his sense of humor.”
Cline retired from the U.S. Army at the age of 62, after serving 30 years in the military.
Family members, including Cline’s daughter, Jackie Hale, and son, Ross Cline, who has served about 30 years in the U.S. Army and flew from the Pentagon in Washington, visited George and Jane on their special day, Feb 5.
George and Jane had their first date on Feb. 5; they were married on Feb. 5, and they were born only hours apart on Feb. 5.
Jane was born in the former South Highlands Hospital in Birmingham.
George was born in his family’s home in Chula Vista. George attended the old Eden School and graduated from Pell City High School. Now, he has returned to his birthplace and hometown.
Jane recalled the first time the two met.
“I was working in an office in Birmingham,” she said.
She was a secretary in the front office of the business.
“I don’t know why they hired me,” Jane said. “I didn’t have any experience.”
Said George, “Because you were so good looking.”
Jane blushed and laughed.
The two, she said, met at her company’s Christmas party.
George attended the party as the date of another woman who worked for the company.
“She was a red-headed girl…,” Jane said.
Jane also had a date, and the two ended up sitting at a table next to each other with their respective dates.
They struck up a conversation, and somehow, their birthdays came up. They learned they celebrated their birthdays on the same day.
“Would you like to celebrate our birthdays together?” George asked her.
The two danced with each other at the party and basically hit it off.
As they were leaving the party -- with their dates -- George turned toward Jane and asked, “Did you tell me your telephone number?”
Said Jane, “It was the last time I heard from the fellow I was with.”
Jane said she did not hear from George again until four days before their birthdays.
“We got a date,” he told her over the phone.
So, they had their first official date on their birthdays, Feb. 5, a couple of months after they first met.
The date must have gone really well.
The following year, the two were married on Feb. 5, their birthdays, 1954.
Jane currently lives on a horse ranch in Chelsea in Shelby County with her daughter and son-in-law. She has her own separate home on the property.
She hates being separated from her husband, but it is necessary.
“At first, he fought it, but he’s getting more comfortable with it,” Jane said.
And what did George want for his 65th anniversary and 87th birthday?
Just the love of his life – and maybe….
“A little bourbon,” he said.