It's a fairy-tale ending 45 years in the making. But Paul and Marion Caruso, of Tunkhannock, Pa., say it's been worth every minute of waiting for the day they'd finally have their wedding photos — photos that were miraculously pulled from a scrap yard in Scranton.
Paul Caruso was working at a skating rink back in the early '60s when he met Marion, the person who would become his wife soon after they graduated high school. When the teenage lovers got married in 1965, they had wedding photos taken, but didn't have the money to buy any copies for themselves.
"It was tough, but we just had to forgo it," Paul explained. "It was something that you'd love to have, but we just couldn't afford it. So we moved on and forgot about it."
Marion noted, "Eventually I thought we'd get them, but then the kids came along, you know, two years later, and it was like their pictures were more important than ours were."
So Paul and Marion put the pictures on the back burner — out of sight, out of mind — for decades. But by chance, over the years, the wedding photographer — who also ran a scrap yard — became a business associate of Paul's, and occasionally offered to let him look through old negatives to find the photos.
It was an offer Paul declined, until the photographer passed away earlier this year. Thousands of negatives were stored at the scrap yard in 55-gallon tanks. At the photographer's son's urging, the Carusos decided to dig in and see if they could find theirs.
"Little did we know there was no names on them, there was no dates, just some kind of a code number on them," Paul said.
They spent hours holding up the negatives, with just a glimmer of hope that they would find their needle in a haystack.
After a few hours, Paul took a break, and it was Marion who made the big discovery. She recalled, "I was screaming, and I looked at it, and my heart just, I started to cry."
Another local photographer was able to restore the photos, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"All of a sudden they came out of nowhere," Paul said. "I just feel very honored to have them." Marion added, "It makes me think about all the courage we had to take that step. And that if you really love each other, and you give more than 50 percent, you give 150 percent to each other, that it can work."
Marion said she spotted their negative thanks to the couple's 1960s styles — with her "Mary Tyler Moore flip" and Paul's "slicked-back wannabe Elvis" hairstyle.
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