Couple celebrates nearly 40 years at the South Shore, more than 65 with each other
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – South Lake Tahoe residents Candelario and Alice Rosalez know a little something about love.
A little more than two weeks before Valentine’s Day, the couple, who are in their mid-80s, celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.
They’ve raised five children together. They have nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
The couple gave a collective shrug when asked how they’ve made their marriage work all these years.
“I’m not going to tell you we don’t have our misunderstandings,” Alice said. “If anyone tells you that, they’re lying.”
Candelario, who goes by Candy, attributes the success of their marriage to following advice he got from his father when he was young.
“Once you get married, you’ve got to be married forever,” Candy said.
Alice offers an even simpler explanation.
“I don’t know,” Alice said. “We just loved each other, that’s all.”
All of it – love, marriage, children and grandchildren – may never have come to fruition if it wasn’t for one woman urging Candy to pay attention to the girl down the street.
“See that girl over there, she likes you,” Candy said, recalling his neighbor Helen Grant’s encouragement to approach Alice when the pair were in their early teens.
Candy, who began working in U.S. Steel’s Pittsburgh, Calif. mill at 16, said he never had time for girls until he followed Grant’s advice and found the one with whom he would spend the rest of his life.
“She more or less convinced me about it,” Candy said.
Convincing the couple’s parents was a different story.
Both Alice and Candy’s parents had qualms about their relationship at the start, according to the couple.
Alice’s father wanted her to marry an Italian man, and was wary of the Mexican teenager who had earned his only daughter’s love.
“That’s the way it was,” Candy says.
“He chased me a couple times, but he couldn’t catch me,” Candy added jokingly. “I was like a jack rabbit.”
Alice’s father warmed up to Candy, agreeing to a wedding, but only after Alice turned 17. They eloped on Jan. 27, 1943, a week after Alice’s 17th birthday.
The rush to war precipitated the rush to wed.
They married quickly because Candy had volunteered to serve in the Navy during World War II “and I didn’t want to be alone,” Alice says.
Candy would leave for the war in December 1943, while Alice was pregnant with their first daughter, Juanita.
“He didn’t get to see her until she was almost two,” Alice said.
Both say the time apart was difficult, but with the global conflict in full swing, there wasn’t much the couple could to keep in contact, except by writing letters to each other.
Candy returned to his job at the steel mill following his service in the South Pacific and the couple raised three children in the Bay Area.
They moved to the South Shore in the early 1970s after Candy got a job as a maintenance man at the newly constructed shopping center at the “Y.”
Alice agreed to move to allow their two youngest children escape persistent bouts of hay fever they experienced in the Bay Area.
Like many at the South Shore, they’ve never had the heart to leave.
“Move? You’ve got to be kidding me,” Alice said to the possibility of leaving.
Her statement includes moving from each other.
“The way I look at it,” Candy said, “You’ve got marriage, and I believe in marriage.”
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Under new rules proposed by California’s insurance commissioner, home and business owners will have open access to their wildfire risk scores that companies use to determine rates and renew coverage.