Cruising the Boulevard Reveals a Lifetime of Happiness for Stephenie and Arnold Dove

by | Jan 2023

LOVE IS both a funny and mysterious thing. One minute you are entirely normal and making your way along in life; the next, you are head over heels for someone you just met.

This would be the case for Stephenie and Arnold Dove. While married for 31 years, the couple had an instantaneous connection going strong for over three decades with no end in sight.

The couple met, as many teens in the area did during the 90s, cruising the boulevard in Winchester. Teens would pile up in each other’s cars and trucks and ride around, seeing who was out. Of course, the goal was to snag a date or a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. However, Oct. 19, 1991, would prove to be a Saturday night of cruising that neither Stephenie nor Arnold would ever forget.

“My best friend and I were cruising the boulevard,” said Stephenie. “Arnold and his best friend at the time were also riding around. I noticed his truck first and foremost. It was an olive green and white truck.”

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

Arnold added that the truck that caught Stephenie’s attention was a 1968 Ford F-100. However, Arnold stated that what got his attention was laying eyes on one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen.

“When they first pulled up beside us, I turned to my left,” he explained. “I looked and saw Stephenie, and I knew I was in trouble. It was to the point I couldn’t even speak.”

Much to Arnold’s luck, he could find the words, and Stephenie and her friend piled up in his truck for a spin around the boulevard. After dropping them off, Arnold declared he was ready to go home. Surprised at his early departure, his friend asked him why he was going home so early.

“I told him I didn’t have a reason to ride around anymore after meeting Stephenie,” he said.

Photographed by Brooke Snyder.

Upon arriving home, his parents were surprised to find him home so soon. When his father asked him if he was ok, Arnold replied that there was nothing wrong with him, but he had met the girl he was going to marry.

Arnold stayed true to his word, and on Oct. 28, 1991, he proposed to Stephenie. The couple wed in a courthouse ceremony on Nov. 18, 1991, in Altamount, just four weeks after being introduced to each other.

“We didn’t need a big fancy wedding,” said Stephenie. “We just went to the courthouse and said our ‘I do’s.’ He is my best friend and my rock. When we met, it was like we had known each other our entire lives, but it was like we had finally come into place. We knew we were each other’s person.”

Arnold said since day one, Stephenie has been there in good and bad times.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of day I am having. I know I can come home and talk to her about it,” he said. “She’s always been there for me. If it’s good times, she’s there to cheer me on, and in bad times, she’s there to pick me up.”

Their 31 years have contained special moments that include the birth of their two daughters and now being able to call themselves grandparents to four grandchildren.

Arnold said one of the most critical aspects of their marriage is that they both give 100 percent of themselves.

“The most important thing is sharing everything,” he said. “Most people want to say marriage is 50/50. I believe it is 100 percent on both sides. It’s important not to sweat the small stuff and not give up on each other. You had a reason for marrying that person. Always remember that reason.”

Stephenie added that working together and praying for each other is essential.

“Don’t ever get mad at each other and think you are finished,” she said. “Always push to work through it and work together. You’ve also got to have God and prayer in your marriage. There is not a single person I pray for more than I pray for him. I have my babies and grandbabies, but Arnold is the one I pray the most for.”

The couple both added that it’s also important to be silly with each other and have as much fun as you did when you were just starting.

“You have to have fun with the person that you are married to,” said Stephenie. “Life is hard and complicated, but you’ve got to act like kids every once in a while. Act like the giddy and goofy kids you were when you first met.” GN

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