North Carolina couple reunites after 50 years apart

North Carolina couple reunites after 50 years apart

GREENSBORO, N.C. — All it took was one handwritten letter, and Jim and Vivian Starr’s life would change forever.


What You Need To Know

Jim and Vivian were high school sweethearts

The two could not connect due to the lack of technology at the time

Now they’re married and living out their “fairytale”


“A fairytale,” is how the Starrs describe the story of reuniting with one another. The two went to Dudley High School in Greensboro together, and dated for a few years before Jim’s mother became ill, and he had to return to New Jersey where he is originally from to take care of her.

“I had to tell Vivian I had to go home to New Jersey to take care of my mother and of course she started crying, and I told her I’d be back, but I didn’t know it was going to take 50 years to get back to her,” Jim Starr said.

Soon after Jim left, Vivian found out she was pregnant with their daughter, but due to the lack of technology at the time, she didn’t know how she would reach Jim to tell him the news.

“I couldn’t find him because back then we didn’t have internet, Google, cellphones, none of that. … If we did, it wouldn’t have been a problem, so I couldn’t find him that way,” Vivian Starr said.

So after many attempts of finding ways to contact him, she moved on raising her daughter, and Jim pursued a career in radio. Jim was sent all over the country for radio jobs, and even changed his last name from Spate to Starr, which made it even harder for Vivian to find him once technology started to advance.

Now 50 years later, Jim Starr just recently retired and returned to Greensboro. He didn’t know how he wanted to spend the rest of his life, but he started thinking about Vivian. A friend of his said he would help look for her and found her on Facebook.

“When I saw her picture my friend Danny sent to me on Facebook, he said, ‘Jim, I’m going to send you her picture. She’s gorgeous, let me know if it’s the same woman.’ So he sent it to me, and I said, ‘Oh my God, she’s gorgeous. My friend, that’s her,’ and he said, … I’m going to look up more information to see if she’s married and you go from there, my friend,'” Starr added.

Jim sent her a handwritten letter, and when Vivian received that letter she could not believe it. She said her daughter called her and said she had a letter from someone by the name of Jim Spate.

“I said, ‘Nah. I haven’t heard from him in so long, that’s not him,’ and she said, ‘Yes, it is mother. It’s handwritten. It’s not typed, not like a business commercial or something like that,’ and when I got home I said, ‘Oh my God. It’s him,'” Vivian Starr said.

Vivian invited him over for dinner, and the rest is history. Shortly after their meeting they instantly fell in love again, and the two got married September 18.

“Of course I was very nervous. Getting married to Vivian, it’s been so long, and it brought back a lot of fond memories of us dating back then,” Jim Starr said.

Jim, now in his 70s, has a whole family he never knew about, and the two now have a love that was always meant to be. Vivian also found out that she had been listening to Jim on the radio for years not knowing it was him because his voice had changed so much since they were young kids.

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